More judges set to face the ax
Despite 10 judges already having been fired this year on the back of trial-fixing allegations, the pace of sackings within the judiciary shows no signs of abating following a statement from Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras yesterday saying that another 11 officials were in the firing line. Two judicial officials were yesterday charged for including false information on their declaration of assets (pothen eshes) forms, Papaligouras said. He did not make known the names of the officials concerned but sources told Kathimerini that they were former deputy prosecutor Antonis Nikolaidis – who has already resigned – and judge Ioanna Giannouli. After visiting the Supreme Court, Papaligouras went on to say that charges would also be filed against six judges and three lawyers. He did not mention what charges they would face but sources told Kathimerini that two judges would be charged with accepting bribes after suspicious payments from lawyers and other judges were allegedly found in their bank accounts. The four other judges are due to face charges of dereliction of duty in connection with a number of cases involving Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis, a priest alleged to be at the center of a trial-fixing ring involving lawyers and a doctor as well as judges. In total, 15 people have already been charged with offenses ranging from bribery to money laundering in connection with the alleged ring, which is said to have helped drug dealers secure early release from prison and drug-trafficking suspects dodge jail. «There is a common and unnegotiable desire to clean out the justice system once and for all,» said Papaligouras, promising that the investigation into possible further corruption would continue.