FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 file photo Olympiakos soccer club chairman Vangelis Marinakis appears in a court in Athens. Greek ship owner and soccer club owner Marinakis says drug-trafficking charges against him are part of a government-led "conspiracy" to silence dissent. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, file)

Greek tycoon calls drug charges politically motivated

March 24, 2018 - 1:01 pm

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek ship owner and soccer club owner Vangelis Marinakis says drug-trafficking charges against him are part of a government-led "conspiracy" to silence dissent.

Marinakis, who is also a media owner, accuses the government of targeting him through friendly media, putting pressure on convicts to testify against him and accuses Greek judges of doing the government's bidding.

A prosecutor on Friday charged Marinakis for engaging in drug-related criminal activity. The charges stem from the 2014 seizure in the Greek port of Piraeus of a tanker carrying 2.1 tons of heroin.

Marinakis has been implicated by, among others, a businessman in whose house police seized 30 million euros ($37 million) worth of heroin and who now is serving life in prison.

Marinakis owns the Greek soccer club Olympiakos and the English club Nottingham Forest.

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