Errant judge set for release

A prosecutor recommended yesterday to a council of appeals judges that they release ex-judge Leonidas Stathis from custody because a new money laundering law has downgraded his alleged criminal offense to a misdemeanor. Stathis was the first judge to be charged in connection with an alleged trial-fixing ring. The Supreme Court found him guilty last April of taking bribes to issue favorable decisions, seeking to get his wife off the hook for issuing dud checks and social security fraud. He was immediately sacked from his position as the Court of First Instance president. Stathis was remanded in custody last May on charges he took more than 100,000 euros in bribes from at least 11 lawyers, between December 2004 and January 2005, to issue favorable decisions. Prosecutor Panayiotis Nikoloudis recommend that Stathis be released on bail.

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