Speedier probes in 6 graft cases

Greece’s top prosecutor has instructed prosecutors to give special priority to six high-profile corruption probes, one of which has stagnated for three years, sources said yesterday. Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis, who in December called on judges to crack down on public sector corruption, made use of legislation allowing the acceleration of investigations into cases «of particular concern to public opinion,» the sources said. Four of the six cases directly involve state employees. The other two, dating from last year, are a probe into a string of alleged murder attempts and bomb attacks by protection racketeers, and the prosecution of electronic equipment mogul Socrates Kokkalis on charges of espionage, fraud, bribery and embezzlement. Kroustallakis also requested special priority for investigations – launched between April 2000 and March 2002 – into alleged embezzlement scandals at ETBA Finance and Panteion University, fraud and breach of faith in the National Land Register project, and fraud in the Pendeli Forestry Department.