Katja Lihtenvalner: The murdered journalist wrote about government scandals

Katja Lihtenvalner
3 min readApr 19, 2021
Perpetrators before they gunned down Giorgos Karaivaz. (Print screen of surveillance camera)

The content of the portal shows that Giorgos Karaivaz, editor and journalist on the bloko.gr portal, had very good connections with the police, and thus access to information that other journalists in Greece do not have, says a reporter from Athens.

Journalist Giorgos Karaivaz was killed with at least six shots in Athens last Friday, the third murder of a journalist in the EU in four years. What is known about Karaivaz’s work?

In addition to working for Star Television, Karaivaz was an editor and journalist on the bloko.gr portal. It is a medium that at first glance looks like a page of a police union, and publishes news, but also statements by police officials that are not common. It can be seen from the content of the portal that Karaivaz had very good connections with the police, and thus access to information that other journalists in Greece do not have. What else he did with that information we will probably never find out, but what he published in public is considered credible.

What has he been writing about lately?

Mostly about scandals related to the ruling New Democracy party. In February, he dealt with the case of so-called Greek Epstein, the former artistic director of the National Theater Dimitris Lignadis, accused of rape. Karaivaz claimed that the police, on the order of the government, gave him five days to hide the evidence. He also claimed that New Democracy had known about these rapes for years, that Lignadis knew a lot about politicians and that some of them could end up in prison if he spoke up. He also dealt with the case of granting police protection to TV presenter Menios Fourthiotis. Due to public criticism, as there were as many as 14 police officers, there was a public split within the police, and Karaivaz speculated that the leader probably also knows things that the government does not want to know.

Some ministers say the murder is linked to "organized crime"?

Karaivaz has been investigating organized crime, and this type of professional assassination and mutual confrontation between criminal clans has been happening for years, practically once a month. But organized crime usually involves high-ranking politicians and corrupt police, as was evident in the trial of the far-right Golden Dawn party.

What is the state of media freedom in Greece?

The biggest problem is that the big media houses function as the propaganda machinery of politics, primarily the New Democracy, as well as the fact that they are influenced by their oligarchic owners who are practically a state within a state. Independent media exist, but none is television, which is the most important medium for Greeks.

Photo: Ayhan Mehmet

Originally published: Katja Lihtenvalner: Ubijeni novinar je pisao o skandalima vlasti — Portal Novosti and Katja Lihtenvalner: Ubijeni novinar je pisao o skandalima vlasti — Portal Novosti (archive.is)

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Katja Lihtenvalner

Journalist. Greece, Western Balkans #PoliticalExtremism #HateSpeech #FakeNews Head of Research at RusaalkaFilms Monitored #GDtrial I train #MuayThai