Judge is remanded in prison

One of the four judges sacked in the course of an investigation into trial fixing and corruption was yesterday remanded in custody, pending trial for bribery and money laundering. Court of first instance judge Leonidas Stathis was questioned for three hours by a senior prosecutor and an examining judge on charges he took more than 100,000 euros in bribes from at least 11 lawyers, between December 2004 and January 2005 alone, to issue favorable decisions. The judge was sacked in mid-April by the plenary session of the Supreme Court, which found that he had shown a «lack of moral standards.» The court also banned Stathis from future work as a lawyer or civil servant. Yesterday, Stathis was ordered remanded in pretrial custody, as he presented a flight risk and might repeat his alleged offenses – despite being no longer a judge. He has also been accused of seeking to get his wife off the hook for issuing dud checks, social security fraud and building violations. Over a dozen more judges are up for dismissal and around the same number face prosecution for corruption.