Prominent lawyers deny charges in testimonies to special investigator

Two prominent Greek laywers who were arrested in relation to the the so-called “Korydallos prison mafia” case denied criminal charges in their testimony to a special examining magistrate on Monday, with one of them suing a minister for defamation.

The charges against the two men relate to an ongoing investigation into the attempted homicide of a former attorney of the Greek Electricity Market Operator (LAGIE) in 2014, for which the businessman Aris Floros has already been convicted by a first-instance court as moral instigator, while the perpetrators are members of the prison criminal organisation.

The two lawyers arrested on Thursday and Friday were until recently representing the former LAGIE lawyer in the attempted homicide case and are alleged to have demanded money from Floros in order for their client to withdraw his civil suit for the attack against him in 2014.

The eldest of the two criminal lawyers, 86, said in his testimony that “Floros has been designated as a reliable witness – he who has been twice sentenced by courts” over Energa and the attempted murder. The prominent lawyer also ridiculed “the so-called financial demands” becasue “nobody had gone to the authorities over them.” He also said he “could not possibly be a member of a criminal gang whose members are unknown to me,” either in person or by any other contact means.

The same day, he said he was suing the state for 10,000 euros for damage to his reputation, following statements by Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Katerina Papacosta’s statements after his arrest that expressed “certainty about my guilt” before his testimony. This created a negative climate against him, affecting due process in his treatment.

The second lawyer said in his testimony that the charges of participating in a criminal gang “belong to the realm of the imagination”. There is no evidence whatsoever, he said, of being a member of the gang since 2014. He also said that “at the time, Floros had a multi-staff high-level lawyers’ team, the creme de la creme of criminal lawyers in Athens. Why didn’t they rush to report the (so-called) blackmailing to authorities? Why didn’t they ask for police protection? Why didn’t they file a suit?”