A photograph has emerged showing the police chief of a Greek island giving a fascist salute in front of a Nazi-era train in a German museum.
In the image, published in Ethnos on Sunday, Lieutenant Yiorgos Kagkalos, chief of police on the island of Hydra, can be seen with an outstretched right arm. Behind him, on a red locomotive, is a large Reichsadler, a stylised eagle combined with the Nazi swastika used as a national emblem in Nazi Germany.
According to Ethnos, the photograph was taken on 13 March 2011 when Kagkalos visited the Nuremburg Transport Museum. The train appears to resemble a Elektrolokomotive E 19 12, a model of which is kept at the museum.
Under German law, giving the Nazi salute is a criminal offence, punishable with imprisonment of up to three years or a fine.
In the past, Kagkalos’ name has been associated with rightwing extremism. In June 1999, he was temporarily suspended from his position after he admitted using his service pistol to fire a volley of shots at the graveside of former dictator Georgios Papadopoulos, head of the military coup d’état of 21 April 1967 and leader of the junta that ruled the country for the following seven years.
A case against the then sergeant was submitted to the prosecutor and an internal sworn investigation was conducted. It is believed the case against him was subsequently dropped due to lack of evidence.
He was appointed to his current position in the popular tourist island of Hydra in 2011.
Kagkalos is also involved with the Greek section of the International Police Association, of which he is described as a “loyal friend and silent worker”.
Update (8 September 2014)
The police internal affairs department, which conducts investigations against police officers, received the photograph anonymously in July. Following an investigation, a file on the case was sent to prosecutors but no charges were made against the officer as prosecutors were not able establish whether he committed an offence.
An order by police headquarters removing Kagkalos from his post on Hydra has not been implemented because the officer has appealed the decision to the administrative courts.