Charges issued for trial fixing

An Athens appeals court prosecutor yesterday charged 15 people suspected of being part of a trial-fixing ring with offenses ranging from money laundering to bribery. Kyriakos Karoutsos issued the four criminal charges and 13 misdemeanors – against nine judges, three lawyers, a court clerk, a priest and a doctor – following a recommendation by the Supreme Court some two weeks ago. The group, with Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis allegedly at its center, is suspected of having influenced court proceedings for bribes so that drug dealers could secure early release from prison or dodge jail. Meanwhile, another prosecutor has recommended that Apostolos Vavilis, a fugitive drug dealer with close links to top Orthodox Church officials, face criminal charges, court sources said yesterday. Vavilis is in custody in Italy after being arrested there in April.

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