Maria Efimova has just this morning received the news that her former employer at Pilatus Bank Ali Sadr is in a US jail indicted for financial crimes punishable by more than a century of prison. She had not heard the news having herself been put behind bars a few hours before him when she walked into an Athens police station in fear for her life.
Maria Efimova was having her first phone conversation with her husband, who is in Crete, from her temporary domicile in an Athens prison this morning. In conversation with her he mentioned the 125 year potential prison term when he realised from her reaction, that Maria Efimova had not yet heard Ali Sadr had been detained.
She was pleased with the news. She is no doubt painfully aware of the irony that she was being kept away from her family because of a complaint against her Ali Sadr had made with the Maltese police that she misappropriated less than 2,000 euro from him.
In conversations with her lawyer, Maria Efimova’s husband learnt his wife was living the wait for a decision on her extradition to Malta calmly particularly now that she feels safe from the threats that forced her to come out of hiding in Crete.
Maria Efimova’s husband, whose name I will not publish in the interests of their school-age children, told me of his and his wife’s deep concern for Matthew, Andrew and Paul Caruana Galizia and the tough experience they have to suffer because of their mother’s work. He told me he has read their statement from yesterday and that he is grateful for their concern for his wife. “Tell them to stay strong,” he told me.
Maria Efimova, who walked into an Athens police station Monday evening without the assistance of a lawyer, has since secured the services of a lawyer who has advised her husband her wait in prison for a decision on her extradition can be expected to last at least 10 days.
In the meantime MEPs from across the political divide have appealed to the Greek authorities to protect Maria Efimova from extradition to Malta. Socialist MEP Ana Gomes wrote to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seeking his intervention in this regard.