New York, September 19, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
An unprecedented event took place in New York starring two Greek journalists, reporters in the Great Apple for two Greek TV stations, “STAR” and “Alpha”.
On Saturday, September 17, at around 2:30pm, at the WGC Manhattan hotel where the Greek delegation for the UN General Assembly stays, the journalist of Alpha Athanasios Dimadis disguised with sunglasses, black wig and blue hat was sitting in a standing table at the cafeteria of the hotel, with his photo camera pointing towards the hotel entrance.
A second journalist, Dimitrios Soultogiannis of “Star Channel”, also disguised with a brown wig, green hat and sunglasses, was sitting on a sofa in the hotel reception desk facing the entrance.
After a few minutes the two “journalist” met in the cafe and asked for the bill. The charge was made to the name of a member of the Greek delegation Giorgos Christoforidis and they signed in his stead, without of course Mr Christoforidis knowing.
Immediately after that they left quickly and went to a cafe opposite the hotel. One of them was sitting outside the coffee shop and the other nearby looking the entrance of the hotel where the Greek delegation was staying.
However, they were spotted by the security of the delegation of the Greek Foreign Minister at the hotel where the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will stay. The US security services that are installed in the hotel and are responsible for the safety of the Greek Foreign Minister approached the two persons for identification purposes.
One of the two turned and run but was arrested by men of the FM’s security. Immediately after that the police officers dropped them on the ground and searched them thoroughly.
During the identification process, the two persons falsely claimed to the American authorities that they were members of the Greek government mission. But unfortunately for them, and with the assistance of diplomatic authorities, it was found that their initial claim was false. Afterwards the two men said that their aim was to photograph Mr Pappas who was staying at the hotel.
During the identification the reporter of Alpha said – in the presence of a representative of the US authorities – that he signed the receipt with the name of Mr Christoforidis, without Mr Christoforidis’ knowledge.
After the incident became known, men of the Prime Minister’s security realized that the same persons with the same disguise were following their movements in the previous time and recorded them with their camera. The same “journalists” had also watched and photographed the State Minister Nikos Pappas during his walk in Central Park.
After the verification and identification of the two “journalists” by the US authorities as since no one from the Greek mission pressed charges, they were released.
The US authorities however have assessed this incident as very serious and the case has been taken over by a special division and are expected to file charges against the two aspiring reporters. Already they have collected depositions and will use all legal proceedings against them, for violation of VIP security.
According to police sources and exclusive information of IBNA, the two “journalists” are faced with imprisonment and deportation from the US. What’s more, the accreditation of the two journalists from all US authorities have been canceled.