01-04-2006, 03:49 AM
28 Pakistanis Tortured by MI6 Chief in Greece
Greece to probe abduction claims
Greek police are to investigate allegations that a group of Pakistani men were illegally held and questioned about their UK connections. Seven men who live in Athens say they were abducted in July shortly after the suicide bomb attacks in London.
They say their captors spoke English, blindfolded them and held them for at least 48 hours.
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said allegations that British agents were involved were "complete nonsense".
He said no British agents had taken part in any of the alleged mistreatments.
In a statement, the British embassy spokeswoman in Athens said she would not comment on media speculation about alleged intelligence operations, no matter how far-fetched, as in this particular case.
"Media allegations on the detention of individuals in Greece are a matter for Greek authorities", the embassy statement added.
Greek police have also played down the allegations, pointing out that they only recently received a formal complaint about the alleged interrogations, despite the claims that the men were held and questioned in July.....
Charge denied by Pakistani minister
Pakistan’s interior minister Aftab Ahmad Sherpao said there was no evidence to substantiate claims by Pakistanis living in Athens that they were abducted and interrogated after the July bomb attacks in London, an incident which Greece insists never took place.
"Our embassy in Greece has not been informed by the plaintiffs or anyone on this issue," Sherpao told reporters at the end of a two-day visit to Athens. Likewise, inquiries by Pakistan’s ambassador to Athens had so far yielded "no response, which means that no such incident has happened," said Sherpao.
The Greek justice ministry has nevertheless undertaken to investigate a complaint filed in July by Javed Aslam, head of the Unity of Pakistan community association in Athens, who charged that seven of his fellow nationals were arrested without warrants, blindfolded and taken to a secret location for questioning. "They were questioned about relatives of theirs resident in London, the case was evidently linked to the July attacks," the Pakistanis’ Greek lawyer Frangiskos Ragoussis told AFP
A Greek newspaper has published what it says is the name of a British spy chief who was involved in the abduction and mistreatment of 28 Pakistani migrants.
Proto Thema said the name was that of a diplomat who was the Athens chief of Britain's intelligence service MI6.
It also named 15 Greek agents who it says were involved in the operation, which allegedly took place after the 7 July bombings in London.
The UK government has forbidden the media from naming the man.
The Greek intelligence agency earlier said it deplored the naming of the officers.
The British government previously described allegations of ill-treatment of migrants following the London bombings as "utter nonsense" and "farfetched".
British media prevented from naming spy
LONDON (December 28 2005): The British government issued an order on Tuesday forbidding the domestic media from revealing the identity of a British spy reported to have helped torture terrorist suspects held in Greece.
A leading Greek newspaper has named a man it claims is the station chief in Athens of Britain's foreign intelligence agency MI6.
He and another British official are alleged to have helped the Greek authorities arrest and then interrogate 28 Pakistani-born detainees seized in connection with the July 7 bombings in London.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said it would not confirm or deny the allegations, which were published in the To Proto Thema newspaper on Sunday.
Pakistanis sue Greek and UK agents over kidnappings
By Karolos GrohmannWed Dec 28, 6:44 AM ET
Greek and British intelligence agents may be called to appear before a Greek court to answer a lawsuit alleging 28 Pakistanis were kidnapped and tortured in Greece after the July bombings in London.
Lawyer Frangiskos Ragoussis, representing the Pakistanis who claim they were illegally taken from their homes and interrogated by Greek and British agents for several days, said he had filed a suit against all agents alleged to have taken part in the operation.
Several intelligence officers, including a British agent, were named in a Greek newspaper article on Saturday as those responsible for the covert operation.
"I have sued everyone today named in that story as being part of the interrogation process and I have sued them for kidnapping and torture," Ragoussis told Reuters on Wednesday.
The Pakistanis have said they were kidnapped, hooded and taken to a secret location near Athens, where they were beaten and questioned for up to a week by Greek agents and at least two British officers.
The Greek public order minister and the secretive National Intelligence Agency (EYP) have denied the allegations but have been forced to recall two Greek agents operating in Kosovo who were named in the story.
London has forbidden the media to name their agent, whom the newspaper said was the Athens chief of MI6.
EYP accused the newspaper of compromising security operations by naming the 15 Greek officers and said the allegations were "completely unfounded."
Ragoussis said he wants the agents to appear in court before his clients so they can identify them.
"I want them to appear before a Greek court and to have them face my clients to identify them and I have also requested that the tapes of the interrogations be played before the courtroom."
The case, which first surfaced in August, weeks after the suicide attacks on London's trains and buses that killed 52, has become a thorn for the government as several opposition parties have asked the Public Order Minister to appear in Parliament to answer questions from fellow deputies regarding the case.
An Athens prosecutor is already leading an investigation into the allegations.
"Let's wait for the results of the ongoing investigation," Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis told reporters on Wednesday. "The government has already commented on this case."
source: Yahoo! News
Pakistanis say they were abducted and beaten in Athens after London attacks
ATHENS (2006-01-03) : Three Pakistanis at the centre of an alleged detention case that embroils Greece and Britain on Tuesday insisted that they were abducted, interrogated and mistreated by men claiming to be Greek police after last year's London Underground and bus attacks.
Muhammad Munir, Mahmood Azhar and Nawaz Shoukat told a press conference that up to a dozen plainclothes men arrived at their apartment in the Athens district of Petralona on July 15, eight days after the London blasts.
"They told us they were police, but did not show us any identification," Munir said through a translator.
"They asked for my cellphone, and when I told them I didn't have one, they took me to a side room, handcuffed me and began to beat me."
The Pakistanis said they were interrogated at two unidentified locations somewhere in the capital for up to a week, before being released.
The Pakistanis -- part of a group of 28 who claim they were similarly mistreated -- have pressed charges against seven Greek intelligence agents and a man reported to be the Athens station chief of MI6, the British overseas intelligence agency, after a Greek weekly newspaper named them as participants in the incident.
The Pakistanis' Greek lawyer, Frangiskos Ragoussis, has pressed torture charges against the abductors, who allegedly included "one or two foreigners speaking English."
None of the Pakistanis present on Monday said they noticed non-Greeks among their interrogators.
But Irfan Taimoor, editor of the local Pakistan weekly, said other detainees had insisted the group included a black and a white man who spoke English.
The British government has denied any involvement and has issued an order forbidding the British media from revealing the identity of the British spy reported to have helped torture the detainees.
Greek Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis and Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao have also dismissed the allegations as false
source: Aaj TV
Sad to see Sherpao dismiss the allegations without announcing an investigation of some kind.