NEWS

Corrupt judge gets 25 years

A former judge was yesterday jailed for 25 years, while seven lawyers received prison sentences of four years each in the first trial linked to an alleged trial-fixing ring which was uncovered last year. In addition to his lengthy jail term, former judge Leonidas Stathis was also fined 71,020 euros after an appeals court found him guilty of money laundering and accepting bribes. His lawyer said the ruling was «harsh» and that the former judge would appeal. Stathis was sacked as the court of first instance president last April. He was accused of taking bribes totaling 54 million drachmas (158,500 euros) from 10 lawyers so his rulings would favor their clients. The court deemed that seven of the 10 lawyers who stood trial had bribed Stathis. They were handed four-year sentences while the other three lawyers were cleared of all charges. The guilty lawyers appealed the decision and were released from custody. Yesterday’s ruling is seen as setting the benchmark for several trial-fixing cases that have yet to be heard.