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Release of convicted executive in major embezzlement case, pay-for-hire murder attempt generates sharp reactions

Another high-profile release of an infamous inmate in Greece, this time on health reasons, generated a firestorm of reactions and criticism on Friday, as a 39-year-old man serving felony convictions for fraud and moral complicity in an attempted assassination was set free.

Aristidis Floros was convicted in February 2017 by a three-justice appellate level court – held at this level due to the seriousness of the indictment – to 21 years in prison for grand embezzlement and money laundering. Floros established and led a now defunct retail electricity supplier, Energa, which Greek regulatory authorities and prosecutors say bilked consumers and the state out of tens of millions of euros. The court agreed with prosecutors, handing down the sentence and a fine of 1.5 million euros.

Floros’ release was achieved after judicial authorities accepted diagnoses that he is considered as more than “two-thirds handicapped” (exceeding 65 percent), with the diagnoses saying he suffers from epileptic seizures and psychiatric problems.
Besides the Energa-related convictions, Floros was convicted last March of moral complicity in the assassination attemp against attorney Giorgos Antonopoulos.

Two convicted felons, a pair of Albanian nationals, claimed they were hired by Floros and promised 300,000 euros to murder Antonopoulos, who represented the regulating authority, the Operator of the Electricity Market (LAGHE), in the legal case with Energa.

Political parties angrily reacted to the news, with main opposition New Democracy (ND), for instance, blaming the legal interventions of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government for freeing the convicted felon after a few years in prison.