Cull of corrupt judges continues

A court of first instance judge yesterday became the eighth judicial official to be dismissed this year as authorities try to get to grips with a corruption scandal that has plagued the Greek justice system since January. The plenary session of the Supreme Court fired middle-ranking judge Aspasia Basta after deeming her unfit to hold the position and lacking in morals. Basta had served for 14 years as a judge but was deemed to have been extremely slow since 1998 in reaching judgment on cases that she was hearing. Basta was linked to trials involving Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis, the priest linked to an alleged trial-fixing ring involving judges and lawyers. She is alleged to have asked to replace a colleague who was to hear a case involving Yiossakis in return for depositing 3,000 euros in the judge’s bank account a few months later. Meanwhile, Achilleas Zisis, the suspended Supreme Court vice president, yesterday resigned as the president of the Judges and Prosecutors’ Union. Zisis has been charged with multiple counts of dereliction of duty and with breaching the law on declaration of assets. In a statement yesterday, Zisis said that he was the victim of a campaign to sully his name. Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras reiterated that every effort would be made to clean up the judiciary. «Nobody is above the law,» he said. «All outstanding cases are progressing.»