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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-31

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou-Brown talks in London
  • [02] Appeals court upholds sentence against ex-consul in Kiev over document forgeries

  • [01] Papandreou-Brown talks in London

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek Prime Minister and FM George Papandreou was in London on Saturday for talks with British Premier Gordon Brown and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, with talks expected to focus directly on efforts by Europe to exit the international economic crisis in tandem with measures aimed at environmental protection.

    The two topics, the econ crisis and environmental issues, were cited by Papandreou during Friday EU Council meeting in Brussels, a proposal backed by Brown and the Commission.

    [02] Appeals court upholds sentence against ex-consul in Kiev over document forgeries

    A Thessaloniki court of appeals on Friday handed down a 10-and-a-half-year prison sentence to the former general director of the Greek consulate in Kiev, upholding an earlier first instance court ruling, which handed down a guilty verdict against the man for forging invitation certificates used to issue tourist visas for Ukrainian citizens.

    Another two defendants, a consulate office messenger and a tour operator were sentenced to five and three years, respectively.

    The first instance court sentenced the consulate's former director, who also served as a consul general, to 21 years, while the office messenger had received a 19-year sentence. The jail terms were reduced after the appellate court acquitted the defendants of charges of money-laundering and bribery, while certain felony counts were commuted to misdemeanors.

    The case had surfaced after a police officer in Thessaloniki allegedly certified blank invitation forms for foreign nationals wishing to enter Greece, using the official stamp of a specific Thessaloniki police precinct. In 2002, the forms were forwarded to a Greek tourist agency for delivery to the Greek consulate in Kiev.

    The blank forms were used by the two consulate employees to make more than 2,500 photocopies, which were then filled out with random names of Greek citizens who appeared to invite Ukrainian nationals to Greece

    A final ruling in the police officer's case, which was tried separately, is still pending in court.


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