Valinaki has answers to court queries

Greece asked French authorities yesterday to ensure the swift extradition of former judge Constantina Bourboulia, while the Supreme Court played down the late-night questioning of the lawyer wife of Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis. Christina Haratsari-Valinaki left the Supreme Court in the early hours of the morning via an underground parking lot, prompting accusations that there had been an effort to conceal the fact that she had been called to testify. Valinaki had worked until last year in the office of celebrity lawyer Sakis Kehayioglou, who has been charged in connection with an alleged trial-fixing ring and was remanded in custody last month. Kehayioglou has been accused of taking 470,000 euros from his clients to bribe judges for favorable verdicts. The deputy minister’s wife has not been charged in connection with the alleged ring. She was called in by Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas to testify as a witness. Supreme Court sources told Kathimerini that there was nothing unusual about the late hour at which she left since prosecutors often begin hearing testimonies toward the evening. Sources also told Kathimerini that Valinaki was questioned about two cases she handled and that there was no evidence linking her to any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, appeals court prosecutor Kyriakos Karoutsos sent a European arrest warrant to French judicial authorities yesterday aiming to speed up the return to Greece of former magistrate Constantina Bourboulia, who was arrested in Paris on Wednesday. Bourboulia was sentenced last June to three years and 10 months in jail after being found guilty of mishandling the probe. She has also been charged in connection with the alleged trial-fixing ring. It is expected that she will be extradited to Greece within the next two weeks. Swiss authorities indicated yesterday that an appeal by Bourboulia to stop Greek prosecutors from searching her bank accounts in Switzerland would be rejected as it had not been submitted in time. Prosecutors hope that details of her transactions will solve some questions about the trial-fixing claims.

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