NEWS

Judge to face a bribe probe

Yet another middle-ranking judge will face disciplinary measures after a television program on Thursday night appeared to show him accepting a 5,000-euro bribe in exchange for issuing a favorable decision in a court case. Leonidas Stathis, a court of first instance judge, tendered his resignation on grounds of ill health yesterday. But Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras refused to accept it and implied that he was unwilling to let Stathis avoid a Supreme Court investigation. «Nobody can be excluded from the need to clean up public life,» he said. «Legal functionaries, in particular, should not be above the law.» The undercover TV report claimed that Stathis had asked for, and accepted, a bribe of 5,000 euros in return for awarding a traffic accident victim damages of 59,000 euros in a case he was hearing. The Justice Ministry has launched an investigation and relieved Stathis of all his duties. He is the third judge this week to be lined up for disciplinary measures over misconduct charges.