Not guilty verdict in NSW case

Ioannina (AFP) – A Ioannina appeals court yesterday cleared a Greek Australian of complicity in a murder case that shook Australia back in 1994 and caused diplomatic tension between the two countries. The court said 36-year-old Steve Anastasiadis was not involved in the murder of Toula Soravia, who was killed during a robbery in New South Wales, Australia, in 1994 as she went to the bank to deposit the daily proceeds from the gas station she owned with her husband. The court also acquitted Anastasiadis of complicity in Soravia’s robbery by four votes to three. Australian authorities had repeatedly asked Greece for Anastasiadis’s extradition, requests Greek courts turned down, sparking diplomatic protests from Australia. «I always trusted Greek justice,» a visibly relieved Anastasiadis said after the court’s decision was announced. Two years ago, a court of first instance cleared Anastasiadis of instigating Soravia’s robbery and murder. A public prosecutor appealed the decision. Anastasiadis’s acquittal can be challenged in the Supreme Court.

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