First judge to appear in court for trial fixing

Athens prosecutors are expected today or tomorrow to press the first criminal charges against a suspected member of a trial-fixing ring composed of judges, lawyers and churchmen, following instructions yesterday from deputy Supreme Court prosecutor Georgios Sanidas. Disciplinary proceedings have already been initiated against eight judges, who face the prospect of dismissal. Now, appeals court prosecutors Panayiotis Nikoloudis and Kyriakos Karoutsos are expected to bring criminal charges for bribery and money laundering against court of first instance judge Leonidas Stathis, who is accused of having taken money to issue favorable rulings. Four lawyers, who allegedly paid a total of 32,000 euros into Stathis’s bank account in December 2004 and January 2005 alone, will face misdemeanor charges for bribing the judge. Another two lawyers will be charged with acceding to the judge’s alleged demands for a bribe. Meanwhile, yesterday Supreme Court President Georgios Kapos ordered a probe, covering the past two years, into whether the process of appointing judges by lot has been abused.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.