Bench couple face dismissal

Another two middle-ranking judges, this time a married couple, were added yesterday to the long list of members of the judiciary who face the threat of dismissal for corruption or incompetence. Supreme Court President Georgios Kapos referred the couple, Piraeus court of first instance presidents Nikolaos Potamianos and Georgia Lambropoulou, to the court’s plenary session on disciplinary charges in connection with their alleged links with a priest believed to have been at the heart of a trial-fixing ring involving members of the judiciary, lawyers and churchmen. The cleric, Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis, is currently being held in Athens’s Korydallos Prison pending trial on charges of stealing centuries-old religious artifacts from a monastery on the island of Kythera. Kapos claims Potamianos and his wife ensured that they were chosen to handle cases concerning Yiossakis, or even his friends and close associates, and always ruled in his favor. Potamianos is believed to have met the archimandrite – who is understood to have been close to Archbishop Christodoulos – in 1997. Since then, according to the text of the charges issued yesterday, the judge «repeatedly facilitated [Yiossakis] in his immoral efforts to prevail over the opposing parties.» The document also names the disgraced bishop of Thessaliotis, Theoklitos, who was forced to resign at the end of February after allegations he had ties with the trial-fixing ring, as having been favored by Potamianos, as well as a friend of Yiossakis’s named Stavros Tzoumas. Lambropoulou was described as having become an «ally» of Yiossakis «who sought the immoral annihilation of parties opposing him in court.»

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