Four NGOs have written to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asking him to grant political asylum to Maria Efimova, the Russian whistleblower at the heart of the Pilatus Bank scandal.

Ms Efimova gave herself to the Greek authorities last week. She had escaped from Malta claiming she was fearing for her life some months ago. The woman is current under arrest waiting for the outcome of the extradition request made by the Maltese government.

The letter was read this morning outside the Greek embassy in Ta’ Xbiex in the presence of various representatives of the NGOs - Civil Society Network, il-Kenniesa, Awturi, and OccupyJustice.

It notes that the arrest warrant against the Russian woman had been issued on the strength of accusations that she had misappopriated less than €2,000 from the bank. On her part, Ms Efimova is seeking redress claiming she is owed three months pay by her former employer.

The NGOs remarked that the Pilatus Bank owner has been indicted in the US over breaches of international sanctions and risked 125 years imprisonment.

“Maria Efimova helped us learn our country was harbouring a banker for the corrupt and the criminal. Her account, whenever this has been possible, has been verified as truthful and correct,” the letter read.

“For this reason she does not deserve to be rewarded with continued persecution, not to mention the real risk for her life and the life of her family,” the NGOs added.

The NGOs also requested a meeting with the Greek ambassador to convey their concerns on the matter, but they were told the ambassador was “indisposed".

Read the NGOs letter in the pdf link below.

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