28 Feb 2013

Mayor sentenced to life in prison

4:28 pm on 28 February 2013

A court in Greece sentenced a former mayor of Thessaloniki to life in prison on Wednesday for embezzling about 20 million euros - half of the city's public works budget.

Vassilis Papageorgopoulos was mayor of Greece's second city from 1999-2010 after serving as deputy sports minister in the early 1990s.

He was convicted along with Thessaloniki's former treasurer, who was found guilty of money laundering and forgery, and three other officials, Reuters reports.

His successor, Yannis Boutaris, testified against him during the trial.

Papageorgopoulos denied any wrongdoing.

"I have nothing to do with this case. I'm sure that some people will die of guilt," he told the court after the ruling, according to Greek news websites.

Convictions for corruption in Greece are rare.