3 judges in trouble

Three more members of the judiciary were referred yesterday to face disciplinary proceedings, including one judge who already faces criminal charges for disappearing with 140 case files. Similar proceedings have already been launched against a total of 15 middle-ranking members of the judiciary, in connection with the trial-fixing and corruption scandal that broke earlier this year, in which judges, senior churchmen and lawyers are believed to have been involved. All face the prospect of dismissal, while some of the 15 already face criminal prosecution. Yesterday, Supreme Court President Georgios Kapos brought disciplinary charges, for incompetence, against Athens Court of First Instance Judge Constantinos Barberis, Hania Court of First Instance President Fotini Keladidou and Court of First Instance President Leonidas Stathis – who already faces disciplinary and criminal charges for bribery and money laundering. Barberis has already been charged with appropriating official documents – for allegedly removing all documents referring to 140 cases he handled in the northwestern town of Ioannina, where he served before being transferred to Athens. This led to his being suspended on February 7. He is accused of gross incompetence, and while in Ioannina allegedly delayed rulings for up to two years – which drove local lawyers to launch a brief in protest protest. Keladidou has been accused of gambling, showing indifference for her work and maintaining close relations with defendants in cases she had to handle. All three will appear before the Supreme Court’s plenary session next Thursday, April 14.

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