Greece Frees Jailed Michaelides

ATHENS – After serving only 10 months of a 15-year sentence for bribery, former Cypriot interior minister Dinos Michaelides was released from a Greek jail on health grounds, a common occurrence for high-level offenders.

The Cyprus News Agency said he went to a relative’s house in Athens as he must stay in Greece until a final judgment is issued in the case, which is under appeal. Family members were said to have come from Cyprus to be with him.

A Greek court had sentenced him – and his son – after convictions on charges of bribery and money laundering in relation to the purchase of Russian TOR-M1 anti-aircraft missiles by Greece when Akis Tsochatzopoulos, serving a 20-year sentence, was Defense Minister.

According to online news portal To Kouti tis Pandoras, Michaelides was freed after successfully invoking a clause in the Greek penal code, under which inmates with a disability of 67 per cent or more may request their release.

That came into effect in April, 2015 when the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA party changed the law, which critics said was done to go more lenient on terrorists with whom the party was said to have some sympathetic alignment.

The amendments mean that Michaelides is no longer required to post bond. The same site reported that Michaelides, 80, was diagnosed with a disability of over 80 per cent, having been found to be suffering from a heart condition as well as visual and hearing impairment.



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