The story that preoccupied Greek football for years and took on political, media, and business dimensions has reached its final phase, with the ruling of the Supreme Appellate Judicial Council, which was officially announced on Wednesday.
This ruling acquits all of the accused from the extremely heavy charge involving the existence of a “criminal organisation”, which was the tale told by various vested interests over recent years.
The other charges also collapsed, including blackmail, fraud, and masterminding the explosion in the bakery of Petros Konstantineas, who is now a SYRIZA MP.
These charged targeted primarily the president of Olympiacos F.C., Evangelos Marinakis.
The sole felony charge remaining is that of fixing football matches, for which there is not the slightest bit of evidence implicating either Olympiacos’ president or the other parties charged. According to legal experts, the trial will lead to resounding acquittals.
Olympiacos’ president expressed his official position on the Supreme Appellate Judicial Council’s ruling on the team’s website stressing, inter alia, that, “The appellate council unanimously dismissed the charges regarding a criminal organisation, fraud, blackmail, and masterminding an explosion, as absolutely groundless.” “My innocence of the remaining charges will emerge in the [judicial] process that follows, vindicating me absolutely, and confirming the opinion of the president of the council.”
Evangelos Marinakis’ full statement
“The Judicial Council of Appeals, a three-member panel of senior judges that reviews prosecutorial complaints, has unanimously rejected the charges related to membership in a criminal organisation, fraud, extortion and arson, previously raised against me and other persons in Greek football, as absolutely unfounded and has thus left exposed those that rushed into adopting these baseless accusations to satisfy their envy.”
“The Judicial Council on the other hand could not reach a unanimous decision, when it found that certain match fixing charges be upheld against me and another 27 persons. The 2:1 majority vote will be tested in court, as the chair of the Judicial Council expressed the dissenting view that those charges will have to be dismissed as well.”
“I am certain that my innocence with regard to these remaining charges will be demonstrated by the judicial process that will ensue, thus fully exonerating me and vindicating the stated opinion of the chair of the Judicial Council.”
“Until the conclusion of the proceedings and for the few months remaining until my full exoneration, I propose to the board of directors of Olympiacos F.C. that the position of the Chairman of the board to be taken over by the Mayor of Piraeus and Vice President of Olympiacos F.C., Mr Giannis Moralis.”