28.01.2021 14:35 h

Court acquits Olympiakos owner Marinakis, 27 others of corruption

A court of appeal acquited Olympiakos owner Vangelis Marinakis and 27 others of match fixing charges from 2012 and 2013 in a unanimous decision on Thursday.

After many months of hearing, the court ruled that there is no evidence for the two charges attributed to the defendants - alleging participation in a criminal group and the crime of altering the outcome of matches.

Last December prosecutor Charalambos Lakafosis suggested the acquittal of 23 of the accused and the conviction of five others, but Thursday's decision overturned his request.

Besides Marinakis, also in the group were former Greek football federation president Giorgos Sarris, four other federation officials, eight former referees, two former officials of the Veria club as well as eight former players of the team, a former owner of Levadiakos and a former owner, former coach and a former player of Atromitos.

Marinakis, who also owns English club Nottingham Forest, has always claimed that he was not guilty in the case.

"You know very well that I do not bend. One can withstand when he is not afraid of anything and that I have no relationship with corruption charges. I have learned to be patient and at the end to justify myself with glory," Marinakis had said in 2019.