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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-02-27

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

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


  • [01] Court hands down life sentence to Thessaloniki former Mayor
  • [02] Rescue operation for trapped stray dog
  • [03] Man dismembers victim and throws it to river

  • [01] Court hands down life sentence to Thessaloniki former Mayor

    AMNA--Life sentences were handed down to Thessaloniki former mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, former municipal secretary general Michalis Lemoussias and former treasurer Panagiotis Saxonis over a sensational embezzlement case at the municipality by the Thessaloniki Criminal Court on Wednesday after a month-long trial

    The Court did not acknowledge any extenuating circumstances for the defendants, who were led directly from the courthouse to prison.

    Papageorgopoulos and Lemoussias were convicted to life sentences, while Saxonis was sentences to life plus nine years imprisonment.

    Two former directors of the financial registrar's office also charged in the case were given suspended sentences of 15 and 10 years, respectively, pending appeal, but were banned from leaving the country and ordered to appear at a local police station every month.amna

    Earlier Wednesday, the Court ruled former Thessaloniki Mayor Papageorgopoulos guilty of direct accessory to several counts of embezzlement of municipal funds totaling 17.9 million euros due to omission, and former municipal secretary general Lemoussias guilty of moral instigation.

    The charges, under the provisions of the law on embezzlement of state funds, carry heavy penalties including sentences of up to life imprisonment.

    The Court further found former municipal treasurer Panagiotis Saxonis and two former directors of the financial registrar's office guilty, but acquitted three former deputy mayors responsible for the municipality's finances, Mihalis Zorpidis, Anastasios Gerogiannis, and Theodoros Athanassaros, and another 12 senior administrative staff at the municipality who had also been accused in the affair.amna

    The trial of Papageorgopoulos and other high-ranking municipal officials and employees for a sensational embezzlement case at the Thessaloniki municipality, in which 51.4 million euro 'disappeared' from the municipality's coffers, began on December 19 and lasted one month. The money that was embezzled, through the use of forged documents, came from employee contributions that were not paid into social security funds for nearly a decade and the 18 defendants were accused of embezzlement, forgery, and of morally instigating and acting as accessories to these actions.amna

    In its ruling Wednesday, the Court set the sum of the embezzled money at 17.9 million euros, the amount in the city coffers when Saxonis assumed the post of treasurer.

    The Court went into recess after announcing its verdicts before resuming to announce the sentences of the accused.

    After the announcement of the sentences, Papageorgopoulos asked to speak and said: "With all due respect, I repeat that I have absolutely nothing to do with the case. I am certain that some people will die with a guilty conscience".amna

    The chief judge replied: "It will not be us".

    [02] Rescue operation for trapped stray dog

    AMNA--A rescue operation for a stray dog was launched on Tuesday on Mt. Tyrnavos after the female dog was trapped on a rock in the Titarissios River amid rising torrential waters due to heavy rainfall over the last few days.

    The Fire Brigade and EMAK rescue team as well as Tyrnavos municipal employees took part in the rescue operation, but were hampered by the sweeping waters that did not allow to the rescue team's vessel to approach the distressed stray. amna

    Eight hours later and after Tyrnavos mayor Nikos Malakos ordered the dispatch of a municipal crane with a boom winch to the spot, and with the assistance of two men managed to rescue the animal.

    [03] Man dismembers victim and throws it to river

    AMNA--A hideous crime with a 48 year-old man as the victim was revealed early Wednesday in the village of Keramates near the city of Arta, northwestern Greece.

    A 36-year-old man confessed that he killed and dismembered the victim and afterwards threw the dismembered body into a river.

    The victim was reported missing from his residence in Fillipiada on February 11 2013.

    Police were conducting an investigation to find the missing man and after making use of all information collected they tracked down the suspect, who subsequently confessed to the crime. amna

    A major operation is currently underway to find the dismembered body.

    The suspect later revealed details of the crime during questioning by police.amna

    According to police sources, the 36-year-old suspect is alleged to have shot the victim in the face and then dismembered him with a hatchet. Afterwards he boiled the soft parts of the body and minced them, and threw the head and the bones into a river.

    The same sources said that the victim, the suspect and the latter's 27-year-old girl friend were shooting heroin when an argument broke out. The 36-year-old is alleged to initially have fired shot in the air and afterwards pointed his gun at his friend with whom, as he told police, he had personal and financial differences.amna

    The 27-year-old woman told police under questioning that she left the house after the shooting.

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