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Thessaloniki court hands ex-mayor life sentence over embezzlement [Update]

A Thessaloniki criminal court on Wednesday ruled that the city's former mayor, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos (photo), is guilty of embezzling almost 18 million euros from municipal coffers over the course of his two terms in office, handing him a sentence of life in prison.

Papageorgopoulos and 17 other officials stood trial for allegedly embezzling almost 52 million euros from the municipality’s coffers, though the Thessaloniki court on Wednesday said that there was proof of 17.962 million euros having been misappropriated by the former mayor and his cohorts.

The Thessaloniki court on Wednesday also handed lesser guilty verdicts to the municipality's former general secretary, Michalis Lemousias, ex-cashier Panayiotis Saxonis and two more former directors of the municipality's financial services.

The other parties standing trial, including three former deputy mayors in charge of finances, were acquitted of all charges.

Papageorgopoulos served two terms as Thessaloniki mayor before being replaced by Yiannis Boutaris in local elections in November 2010.

Boutaris accused Papageorgopoulos of providing inaccurate financial figures when he took over at City Hall.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday February 27, 2013 (13:57)  
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