Ex-mayor denies charges, walks free


The former mayor of Thessaloniki, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, denied charges of handling funds which were the product of illegal activities and was allowed to walk free after appearing before a Thessaloniki investigative magistrate.

His testimony was tied to a case involving the alleged embezzlement of nearly 18 million euros in municipal funds, for which he was sentenced to 12 years behind bars in 2013. The former mayor, who suffered a heart attack while in prison, secured his release in July after benefiting from a new law allowing convicts with disabilities or chronic health problems to be freed after serving at least one-fifth of their sentence.

Former Thessaloniki general secretary Michalis Lemousias, currently serving 13 years at Diavata prison, was also expected to face a magistrate in connection with the same case.