Anarchist granted bail
Costas Sakkas, the self-proclaimed anarchist who spent two-and-a-half years in pretrial custody until his release in July, was yesterday granted conditional release by an Athens prosecutor. The decision to release the 30-year-old, on the condition that he does not leave the country and posts 5,000 euros in bail, came four days after he was arrested by counterterrorism officers. Police said they found his fingerprints at one of the safe houses used by the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire urban guerrilla group in Halandri, northeastern Athens, some five years after the premises was raided. Sakkas has argued that the fingerprints do not constitute damning evidence as they were found on objects that cannot be linked to any criminal activity. He denies any links with the guerrilla group and has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights over his pretrial detention, which significantly exceeded the 18-month maximum stipulated by Greek law.
A 34-year-old priest is among five people who are due to respond today to charges that they stole icons and other valuable religious items from churches in Thessaly, central Greece, which they then sold. The five, three men and two women, were arrested while trying to sell 60,000 euros’ worth of valuables to an undercover policeman. Officers found two wooden religious icons and a book dating back to 1765 in the suspects’ car. More relics were found when the suspects’ homes were searched. The five face charges of forming a criminal organization and breaking Greece’s strict antiquities law.
Police are building a case against five people in connection with an illegal adoption racket following the attempted sale of a 1-month-old Bulgarian infant to a Greek couple in the Cretan port of Rethymno, Kathimerini understands. According to police, the couple, a 58-year-old man and a 51-yearold woman, traveled to Athens last week and paid 30,000 euros to buy the baby from its natural mother. A lawyer and a nurse, both Greek, are believed to be members of the racket. A prosecutor has ordered that the infant remain with the couple for the time being, Kathimerini understands.
A police officer found to have put forged license plates on two motorcycles, following an investigation by the force’s internal affairs unit, was suspended yesterday. The unnamed officer faces charges of forgery and of violating weapons laws after a set of brass knuckles was found in his possession.