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London blasts: Pakistanis in Greece questioned

A Greek lawyer claims that 7 Pakistani immigrants were abducted and questioned by British agents in Greece.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2006 17:19 IST

A Greek lawyer claimed on Tuesday that seven Pakistani immigrants were abducted and questioned by British agents in Greece following the July 7 bomb attacks in London. Greece's Public Order Ministry denied any involvement in such an incident.

Lawyer Frangiskos Ragoussis presented Greek lawmakers with a report alleging his clients _ who all live in Athens _ were interrogated for several days before being released. "They were asked whether they had relatives in London, who they were in touch with, what those people's phone numbers were, whether they spoke to them before the bombings and where they lived," Ragoussis told private Skai radio.

Ragoussis said he believed his clients had been questioned by British security officers.

He claimed at least another 20 Pakistanis in other parts of Greece were similarly treated after the London transit bombings, which killed 52 people in addition to the four suspected suicide bombers.

In London, a Foreign Office spokesman would not comment on any alleged action by the UK's security and intelligence services. Ragoussis said he took his report to parliament after Greek prosecutors failed to act on an earlier complaint. "There was a strange, suspicious silence," he said. "So I could not wait longer."

The Public Order Ministry said it had received no formal complaint on the alleged incident. "No Greek security services were involved," a ministry announcement said.

The ministry said a Greek prosecutor had ordered a police investigation into the allegations.

Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis said he was unaware of the claims.

Nikos Voutsis, spokesman for the small opposition Left Coalition, said his party had raised the issue four times with the government since July.

"It is pathetic that for five months all the Greek authorities have been playing at the game of knowing nothing," Voutsis said. A spokesman for the 30,000-strong Pakistani community in Greece said the alleged detainees were verbally abused by three men _ two of whom spoke to them in English _ but were not otherwise harmed. Javed Aslam, who filed a formal complaint with authorities on July 29 on behalf of the seven people, said the interrogators' main questions concerned phone calls to England.

"All seven were living in the same house. Maybe somebody made a phone call from the house to a friend or relative in England," Aslam said.

Aslam said the complaint had not drawn any official response. "We have had no answer," he said. "We are still waiting."

First Published: Jan 04, 2006 17:19 IST