Priest offers help from contacts in high places

An Orthodox priest has been arrested, accused of swindling 100,000 euros from the family of a convicted human trafficker by presenting himself as a lawyer that could get the prisoner out of jail, police said yesterday. The 34-year-old suspect, an unnamed archimandrite, had apparently convinced the family that he could use powerful connections to get the prisoner out of a 10-year sentence and 133,000-euro fine. The self-styled lawyer then gave family members a forged court document showing that the prisoner’s jail term had been bought off and asked for an additional 40,000 euros to pay off the fine. The family, however, checked the validity of the court document and found that it was a fake. Police said that the priest had also been involved in other cases of forgery and theft.