Thessaloniki court gives five women suspended terms over squats


A court in Thessaloniki on Wednesday handed 10-month suspended prison sentences to five women who were arrested in a police raid last week on a former orphanage in the northern city which been occupied by members of anti-establishment groups.

The women – one Greek and four Swiss nationals – were found guilty of unlawfully occupying state property.

The lawyer representing the Swiss women, who did not appear in court, claimed that her clients had stayed for just one night at the former orphanage and were not aware that it was state property.

The orphanage building, which was derelict and deemed a public health risk, was demolished by authorities after it and several other squats in the city were raided by police last week in a crackdown that drew the condemnation of leftist SYRIZA.