NEWS

Ex-bishop facing jail for embezzlement

The former bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, was given an eight-year jail sentence by a court in Athens yesterday after being found guilty of embezzling funds from a convent. The three judges ruled that Panteleimon had stolen some 195,000 euros from the collection boxes of the convent of Ossios Ephraim in Nea Makri, northeastern Attica, between 1995 and 1998. The prosecution alleged that the former bishop had actually embezzled 265,000 euros. The ex-bishop maintained the monks framed him because they did not want him to administer the convent. Panteleimon, whose surname is Bezenitis, was fired from his post last summer as a result of the charges against him and allegations of links to a trial-fixing ring. He said the verdict was unfair. The court demanded Panteleimon post bail of 30,000 euros and banned him from leaving Greece pending his appeal.