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Life sentence for former Thessaloniki mayor

Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, champion-sprinter-turned-politician, got the maximum penalty for embezzlement during his term in office

Former Thessaloniki mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos arriving at the courthouse on February 27 Former Thessaloniki mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos arriving at the courthouse on February 27 A court of appeals in Thessaloniki sentenced the city’s former New Democracy-backed mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, a former interntional sprinter, to life in prison for embezzling 18m euros from the municipality’s purse.

The municipality’s former municipal treasurer, Panayiotis Saxonis, and the former general secretary, Michalis Lemousias, were also found guilty.

A New Democracy MP for almost two decades, Papageorgopoulos served as Thessaloniki mayor between 1999 and 2010.

The presiding judge was quoted by local media as saying that the 66-year-old ex-mayor and his two collaborators had “set up an embezzlement machine”.

The court also found two others guilty: two managers of the municipality's treasury. They were sentenced to 15 and 10 years in prison. Three deputy mayors were acquitted.

He was a medal winner at the European Indoor Championships in 1972.

 

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