Left MEP and journalist Stelios Kouloglou is calling on the Greek government to grant Maria Efimova protection from Malta’s request for her extradition.
He has been helping Maria Efimova with an appeal to the Greek Ministry for Home Affairs for a Greek residency permit having already been declined by the Cretan authorities.
She has been living in Crete with her husband and children. I am informed Maria Efimova’s husband has stayed in Crete with their children who go to school there. Maria Efimova says she is in fear for her life and has voluntarily handed herself in last night at an Athens police station believing police custody the safest place for her at the present moment.
Stelios Kouloglou is quoted by The Guardian saying “the arrest warrant against Maria Efimova is based on ridicolous accusations by Malta’s authorities. Her possible extradition to Malta would seriously jeopardize her life. Greek Justice, that is investigating her case after she surrendered to the police, must take into serious consideration the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, to whom whistle-blower Maria Efimova had given a lot of revealing information concerning financial scandals.”
Stelios Kouloglou is a Greek journalist writer and documentaries director. He is the founder of the news web channel “TVXS”, political analyst and major Greek publications columnist in international press including Le Monde Diplomatique.
In August 2017, Magistrate Joseph Mifsud had ordered Maria Efimova’s name to be placed on the wanted list after she repeatedly failed to turn up for a court sitting in a criminal case which followed a complaint by her former employer Pilatus Bank that she misappropriated a sum less than €2000.
In July, the court had ordered Maria Efimova to be brought to court under arrest and had fined her €500 for failing to keep her appointment. During a November sitting, Maria Efimova once again made no appearance when her case was called out.
Inspector Jeffrey Scicluna explained in court that since last August’s sitting, a European Arrest Warrant as well as an International Arrest Warrant had been issued against Maria Efimova. These were communicated to all member states via the Schengen Alert System, the court was informed. She is the subject of two criminal proceedings, in one accused of defrauding Pilatus Bank and in another of having made false accusations against then Inspector Jonathan Ferris and other police officers.
Since then Jonathan Ferris also turned whistle-blower seeking protection in order to be able to reveal information he is privy to about corruption and money-laundering.