Probe reels in 25 more judges
The Supreme Court’s deputy prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas yesterday called for the bank accounts of 25 judicial officials to be opened, spreading the net wider in an investigation into trial fixing and malpractice, as a fifth judge was sacked. Sanidas did not reveal any details about the nature of the alleged misdeeds by the 25 officials who were targeted following a series of complaints. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s plenary session dismissed a justice of the peace on the grounds of gross inefficiency and a lack of moral standards. Athanassios Nomikos had been charged with incurring debts and repeatedly defaulting on them, skipping work to gamble at casinos and delaying cases. The court, however, said that Nomikos would be allowed to seek a new job in the broader public sector, if he wished. Nomikos received a lighter sentence than court of first instance judge Leonidas Stathis – also deemed to have displayed a lack of moral standards – who was banned from future work as a lawyer or civil servant after being remanded in custody last month pending trial for bribery and money laundering. Nomikos is the fifth judicial official to be dismissed as part of an ongoing probe into trial fixing and corruption in the judiciary, with several more facing the sack. One of these is court of first instance judge Anna Korovessi, who had been up for dismissal yesterday but was granted an extension until November, as she is in the eighth month of pregnancy. Korovessi allegedly tampered with the process of selecting judges to ensure favorable treatment for Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis, a jailed priest allegedly at the heart of a trial-fixing ring involving judges, churchmen and lawyers. The group is suspected of having influenced court proceedings for bribes so that drug dealers could gain early release from prison or dodge jail. Yiossakis is currently in detention at Korydallos Prison pending trial for antiquities theft.