Vatopedi monk, 13 others to stand trial over land swap deal

Abbot Ephraim and 13 other suspects are to stand trial over the controversial land swap between the Greek government and the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos.

A council of appeal court judges ruled that the 14 should face charges of breach of faith and making false statements in connection to the property exchange.

The land swap allegedly led to Vatopedi obtaining prime real estate in return for property of a lesser value, thereby damaging taxpayers’ interests. Ephraim is accused of meeting politicians and public officials between 2001 and 2008 and talking them into carrying out the swap.

The head of former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’s office, Yiannis Angelou, will not have to stand trial, the judges decided.

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