Thessaloniki court hears ex-mayor’s appeal on embezzlement charges

A five-judge appeals court in Thessaloniki is hearing Tuesday the appeal of the former mayor of the northern port city, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, against a life sentence handed to him eight months ago over embezzlement charges.

Also appealing their life sentences at the court are Michalis Lemousias, who served as Papageorgopoulos’s general secretary, and Panayiotis Saxonis, the ex-mayor’s treasurer.

Papageorgopoulos served two stints as mayor of Thessaloniki, between January 1999 and December 2010. Together with Lemousias and Saxonis, the three have been found guilty of embezzling some 18 million euros from municipal coffers.

Two treasury directors will also be appealing their sentences of 15 and 10 years respectively. They were granted conditional release after their first sentencing pending the outcome of their appeal.

Papageorgopoulos, Lemousias and Saxonis are being held at Diavata Prison.