Trial to resume on Tuesday
Former Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos’s appeal hearing against a life sentence for embezzlement, which started yesterday, was halted due to legal technicalities and will resume next Tuesday. Papageorgopoulos, who was found guilty last year of siphoning some 18 million euros in municipal funds, is expected to argue that the embezzlement at Thessaloniki’s municipal offices began before he assumed his post. The former general secretary of the municipality, Michalis Lemousias, and the city treasurer, Panayiotis Saxonis, were also sentenced to life in prison after it was found they had been involved in the scam. Lemousias is also appealing his conviction while Saxonis admitted to his involvement in illicit cash transactions but claimed to have been taking orders from his superiors.
Anarchist Costas Sakkas, who was granted conditional release in July after going on hunger strike to protest the fact that he had been held in detention for two-and-ahalf years, was arrested again yesterday by members of the anti-terrorist squad. An arrest warrant had been issued earlier after fingerprints matching the 30-year-old’s were found at one of the safe houses used by the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire urban guerrilla group. The property is in Halandri, northeastern Athens, and was first raided in 2010. Sakkas was first arrested in December of that year.
A 29-year-old man alleged to have used threatening notes to net nearly 100,000 euros from 15 bank heists in Athens and Thessaloniki over the past two years faced an Athens prosecutor yesterday on multiple charges of robbery. The suspect was arrested on Tuesday morning in Peristeri, western Athens, after attempting his 16th robbery, during which the clerk to whom he handed the note sounded the bank’s alarm. The suspect was arrested by police who rushed to the scene. According to officers, the man is believed to have fled to Serbia after each robbery as his wife lives there. It remained unclear whether the man was armed with anything other than a threatening note during the robberies he is alleged to have carried out.
A total of 41 people believed to be members of anti-establishment groups in Thessaloniki were indicted yesterday on a series of charges ranging from possession of explosives to theft. Another 18 people, believed to be members of the same groups, were acquitted, while all 59 were cleared of charges of belonging to a criminal organization. One of the 41 indicted is already serving time at Larissa Prison. Spyros Stratoulis, who has been on hunger strike for the past two months in protest at being stripped of his furlough privileges, is charged with grievous bodily harm.The 41-year-old has served more than 21 years of a life sentence for murder and robbery.