NEWS

Fourteen charged in justice probe

The anti-corruption drive in the judiciary netted another 14 people yesterday, most of them judges, with top judges estimating that preliminary investigations into corrupt practices will be completed by the end of the year. Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos, who leaves his post today having reached the mandatory retirement age of 67, announced «with sadness» yesterday that 14 people, including eight judges, an appeals court prosecutor, three Athens-based lawyers, one court secretary and a private individual, face several charges, including dereliction of duty and multiple counts of criminal fraud. Linos refused to divulge the names of the accused before the process of bringing charges is formally over, but he mentioned the details of some cases. In one, a judge defrauded an insurance company by claiming that both of his cars had been totally destroyed in accidents. Some judges had issued injunctions in certain cases, apparently with the intent to benefit the party seeking the injunction. The latest batch of cases brings the total number of judges and prosecutors charged over the past 18 months to 82. Of those, 49 have been charged with dereliction of duty and 33 have faced criminal charges. Among the former, 13 have been dismissed from their jobs, 14 suspended temporarily and three resigned before a decision was made. The investigations, supervised by Linos, have been conducted by assistant Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas, who is expected to replace Linos.