Capital Controls Help Vicky Stamati Secure Prison Release Without Posting Bail



Though the capital controls that have been imposed in Greece since late June have weakened the economy and have restricted daily financial transactions for Greek citizens, one person in Greece has been able to use them to their benefit.

Vicky Stamati, who has been incarcerated for three and a half years on charges of money laundering, will be released from prison without paying the 50,000 bail that the judge had imposed on Wednesday. In her appeal of the bail on Thursday, Stamati’s lawyer called on an amendment ratified by the Greek government in light of capital control restrictions.

This temporary modification dictates that bail payments are to be postponed until October 31 because of the capital control regime.

This effectively means that while Stamati will be released, she will have five additional days after October 31, thus until November 5, to come up with the 50,000 euros if the amendment is not extended by the Greek government.

On Wednesday, Stamatis had claimed she did not have the 50,000 euros the judge was asking for and requested a two-month grace period to find the funds. The judge had turned down the request.

Aside from the 50,000 euro bail the judge had ordered Stamati to report to a police station three times a month, to stay in the country and to give up her passport, Stamati will be released once she gives up her passport.

Stamati is the wife of Akis Tsochatzopoulos, former Greek National Defense Minister who is serving a 20 year prison sentence for laundering money from bribes.