In the first murder of a journalist in Greece in over 20 years, 37-year-old Socratis Guiolias was shot dead Monday in front of his home in a suburb of Athens.
The gunmen called Sokratis Giolias to come out of his home claiming that someone had stolen his car. When he came outside, they shot him 15 times, according to Greek media.
Giolias worked as an investigative reporter at the Greek radio station Thema 98.9. He also ran a popular political and social blog called “Troktiko,” which translates to “rodent.”
Colleagues told local media that Giolias was about to publish results of an investigative report related to corruption.
Greek police officials have linked the murder to the far-left Revolutionary Sect in their initial investigation. According to the police, the firearms used in the assassination had also been used by the suspected group to kill an officer last year.
“Examination of the 16 nine-millimeter Parabellum cartridges found on the scene of today's homicide … shows they were fired by two weapons used in the activities of the Revolutionary Sect group,” the police said in a statement.
The car used in the assassination was reported to have been found abandoned and burned.
Attacks on journalists are rare in a country where attacks by extremist groups happen frequently. The last killing of a journalist was carried out in the 1980s, when a publisher of a conservative newspaper was shot dead.
Speaker of parliament Philippos Petsalnikos condemned the murder and expressed “outrage and grief at this heinous and murderous act.”
“Mr. Giolias was a well-known political blogger in his country, an investigative journalist often very critical of the previous government,” said Dunja Mijatovic, a media freedom representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, in a statement.
“As the motives of his killing are still unclear, I ask the Greek authorities to ensure that his murder is investigated rapidly and thoroughly,” she added.
The Union of Journalists of Athens Daily Newspapers also condemned the attack, noting that the way the murder was carried out belonged to the most brutal of ways. They urged Greek authorities to quickly find those responsible for the crime.