A council of judges on Tuesday ordered a 47-year-old man accused of posing as a cancer specialist to stand trial for 12 counts of manslaughter and 14 counts of attempted manslaughter. Another 16 suspects will also stand in the dock for aiding and abetting him in various capacities.
The suspect allegedly netted thousands of euros in fees by introducing himself to terminally and seriously ill cancer patients as an oncologist with a pioneering treatment. The purported medical credentials of “Dr Nikos Kontos” have been refuted by the official channels.
Among other charges, he will be tried for serial manslaughter, causing grievous bodily harm, distribution of controlled substances, serial fraud, forgery and posing as a medical professional, not to mention illegal weapons and antiquities possession.
The suspect, who has been named as Nikolaos Kontostathis, has reportedly denied being responsible for his patients’ deaths, saying that he prescribed herbal remedies that were intended to have a “placebo effect.”
He has also reportedly sought to exonerate his fellow defendants – who include a former minister and MP, several doctors and a nun – by claiming that he deceived them as to his real identity.
Kontostathis was arrested in June 2020 after a months-long police investigation into complaints regarding the deaths of three patients, two of whom were minors. Further investigation brought more cases to light.