Lawyers tied to prison gang gain time for defense

Lawyers tied to prison gang gain time for defense

Alexandros Lykourezos and Theodoros Panagopoulos, two prominent Athens lawyers allegedly embroiled in the so-called Korydallos Prison “mafia,” were on Friday given an extension to prepare their defense before an investigating magistrate.

Lykourezos was arrested on Thursday and Panagopoulos turned himself in on Friday after learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Both men are to remain in custody until Monday, when they are to explain themselves before the special magistrate for terrorism, Eftichis Nikopoulos. A third lawyer, Giorgos Antonopoulos, was remanded earlier this month in connection with the same case.

The lawyers, who face charges of membership of a criminal organization and attempted blackmail, deny the accusations. However, the case file against them is based on witness testimonies as well as months of wire-tapped conversations between Antonopoulos and the suspected leader of the prison racket, Albanian convict Claudian Lekotsai.

According to sources, incriminating evidence has emerged from the testimony of the jailed energy executive Aristeidis Floros to Nikopoulos, the special magistrate, and from that of criminologist Ilias Anagnostopoulos during the trial for the murder in 2017 of another Athens lawyer, Michalis Zafeiropoulos.

Both Anagnostopoulos and Floros testified that Lykourezos tried to bribe Floros, offering in exchange a less damning testimony by his client Antonopoulos in a trial related to an attempt on the latter’s life in which Floros was implicated.

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