Corrupt policeman convicted

The former Chios head of police has been found guilty of repeatedly taking bribes from bar-owners in exchange for turning a blind eye to possible license infringements. Giorgos Meretakis, 56, on Friday received a two-year suspended sentence from a court on the eastern Aegean island, where he was serving as head of police when arrested in 1998 while receiving a 333,000-drachma (977-euro) bribe from a collaborator who had taken the money from a bar owner. Meretakis took 333,000 drachmas a month from at least three bars. The collaborator, Michalis Neamonitis, received an 11-month suspended sentence, while two of the bar owners – the third had notified the police – were imprisoned for 10 months, with the option of buying off their term. Although the prosecutor had argued that Meretakis was also guilty of extortion for threatening businessmen to have his officers fine them for illegal practices, the court cleared him of the charge. Meretakis’s June 2, 1998 arrest coincided with that of a 27-year-old riot police officer for bank robbery. A year later, Athanassios Angelakis was convicted for nine years.

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