Probe into trial fixing to widen further

Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras and Greece’s top prosecutor yesterday stressed their determination to follow up all leads on possible corruption in the judiciary, as yet another judge yesterday faced sanctions – for allegedly concealing assets and income for three years. Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos briefed Papaligouras on the progress of the investigation into alleged trial-fixing and corruption, which has so far led to severe disciplinary proceedings against eight judges. Sources said yesterday that another five or six Piraeus judges will soon face disciplinary action for participation in a suspected trial-fixing ring in which churchman Iakovos Yiossakis, an archimandrite, is believed to have played a central part. «This is an opportunity for our justice system to take a deep breath and to be rid of those who displayed reprehensible behavior,» Linos told journalists after his meeting with Papaligouras. A senior source close to the investigation said that further allegations regarding corrupt judges were pouring in. «People have opened their mouths, and the Supreme Court is receiving complaints on a daily basis,» the source said. Meanwhile, court of first instance judge Antonia Ilia, who has also been linked with Yiossakis, was ordered not to leave Greece pending an investigation for having failed to table asset and funds-source declarations from 2001 to 2003. All judges – together with politicians, police officers, journalists and other professional groups – are obliged by law to table the annual declarations, which are seen as a corruption-busting measure.

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