ATHENS – A Greek man who claimed to be a doctor who could cure people of cancer was further accused at his trial by those he duped of demanding cash for fake treatments that didn’t work and of examining dozens at a monastery.
He called himself Nikolaos Kontos but police said his real name is Nikolaos Kontostathis and other media reports said he claimed to also be an ace fighter pilot who scared away Turkish fighter jets.
Two men with multiple sclerosis testified at his trial that they sought treatment after meeting him at a monastery in 2016 in Pilo where dozens of people, many holding medical tests, lined up to be checked by him in a special room.
It wasn’t said why he was at the monastery or why patients would see a doctor there instead of an office and Kathimerini said one witness, a teacher, said an elderly woman had told her that Kontos had cured a nun of cancer and would cure her too.
Kontos gave the woman liquids to consume as treatment, which she said caused her unbearable pain and charged her 3,320 euros ($3,766) which she paid in cash and a second witness said she paid him 30,000 euros ($34,026) for fake treatments.
He is facing 12 counts of murder and 14 of attempted murder of his patients, giving one of them beetroot and garlic juice, the court heard earlier, in his trial for charges of manslaughter and fraud.
He’s accused of fabricating medical qualifications and that his bogus cures allegedly resulted in three deaths, and fell under suspicion after a real medic spotted his inability to properly sterilize his hands, the British newspaper The Guardian said.
“He was introduced to us through the church,” the father of one of the purported victims told Open TV. “The truth is we believed him … first because he was introduced with very important studies from America, New York.”
The son of one of the patients who perished while treated by the defendant, said his father was given the juices and various liquids and was persuaded to stop chemotherapy by the fake doctor.
The man, whose father died in 2015 testified that when he asked about the treatment was told that “doctors administer chemotherapy for bribes from the pharmaceutical industry.”
He didn’t say why or his father believed that or allowed the unorthodox treatment that cost them 7,200 euros ($8,167) after being told that the patient would “get back on his feet,” but died after the juice intake caused vomiting, bloating and liquid to gather in the lungs.