Trial of Church NGO’s four alleged swindlers started in Athens on Thursday

The trial of four former members of the Church of Greece’s charity Allilegii (Solidarity), charged with embezzlement, breach of faith and making false statements started at a Three-member Appeals Court in Athens on Thursday.

The case concerns the alleged embezzlement by the NGO’s former head Dimitris Fourlemadis of 5.6 million euros of state grants given to the NGO by the foreign ministry in 2005 to send humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe and Malawi. The money was allegedly were directed elsewhere and with documents citing needs of the charity.

The indictment also cites smaller funds which were also granted to Solidarity for humanitarian missions, such as a 250,000-euro fee paid to a transport company to send chicken meat to war zones – a transport that never happened because nobody found the destination of the mission or even the meat.

Apart from Fourlemadis, who is charged with embezzlement and breach of faith, the other suspects include the head of the NGO’s internal audit for simple synergy with the Fourlemadis and two financial inspectors of the Church, who are accused of making false statements by claiming that Solidarity had the grant given by the foreign ministry, when in reality the money had already been spent.