IKA fraud defendant dies in court

One of eight defendants accused of defrauding the IKA Social Security Foundation’s Kallithea branch of millions of euros died in the Athens court hearing the case on Tuesday after suffering a stroke.

The incident occurred as the court resumed the hearing following a short break for the August holidays.

The man, identified by local media as Panagiotis-Alexandros Aimatidis and aged 43, was facing charges – along with his wife and another six defendants – of defrauding the foundation of some 11 million euros via false benefit claims.

According to reports, the man collapsed in the courtroom and was rushed to a local hospital where his death was confirmed.

All seven defendants have been in pretrial custody for 18 months pending the hearing, which resumed on Tuesday, and were due for conditional release.