Conman priest released on bail

A 30-year-old priest from Thessaloniki who is accused of cheating 166 Greeks out of tens of thousands of euros by promising them jobs that never materialized was granted conditional release on Thursday after posting 30,000 euros in bail pending trial on fraud charges.

A 45-year-old unemployed resident of the northern port city alleged to have participated in the scam was released on the same terms.

Both suspects were banned from leaving the country.

The pair denied the charges while the priest insisted that his job agency was legitimate and claimed to have paid some 20,000 euros in compensation to applicants who paid a fee for the service but failed to find employment.

Police are also seeking a 40-year-old lawyer believed to have been an accomplice in the scam.