Judges accused of fixing trials

Seven appeals court judges and an appeals court deputy prosecutor allegedly cooperated to fix the outcome of various trials in Thessaloniki in return for bribes, authorities said yesterday. An investigation by Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas has revealed that the five men and three women allegedly worked together to fix trials over the last few years involving, among others, a suspected drug dealer, an alleged fuel smuggler and a businessman accused of forging documents. The eight face charges of dereliction of duty, giving false statements and abuse of power. Two of the suspects have retired and a third is in the process of stepping down. Sources said that the bank accounts of the eight judicial officials have been checked but no significant deposits have been found.