Financial prosecutors hand over probes

The judicial probes into the nonpolitical figures on the Lagarde list of depositors, as well as other probes such as the one into party financing, have been handed from financial prosecutors Spyros Mouzakitis and Grigoris Peponis to their newly appointed colleagues who have the sole task of rooting out corruption.

It was confirmed on Friday that Mouzakitis and Peponis would be stepping down and handing over their duties. The prosecutors were given the option of remaining in their positions but said that the new “corruption prosecutors” should take over their investigations.

Mouzakitis and Peponis have been criticized by government officials in the past for some of the investigations they have launched. In December 2011, the prosecutors threatened to resign after claiming of outside interference in their work.

Last month, the Supreme Court appointed two top judicial officials to the newly created posts in a bid to plow through a plethora of cases of alleged graft and mismanagement of public money.

First Instance Court prosecutor Eleni Raikou took the post in Athens while appeals court prosecutor Argyris Dimopoulos was appointed in Thessaloniki. Raikou played a key role in getting former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos to face justice for millions of euros in kickbacks he is alleged to have pocketed from defense contracts.

Raikou’s new job is to bring to task other state functionaries found to have mismanaged state money.