Greek lawyer and politician Antonis Vgontzas died in Athens on Friday. He was 73 years old.
Vgontzas served in public office for many years including as Director of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou’s legal office in his last government (1993-1996). He also served as Secretary General in the Ministries of Health and Environment and legal advisor to the Ministries of Justice and Education.
He was born and raised in Athens, and studied law and economics in the Greek capital before he began practicing law in the nations of Germany and Finland.
As a university student, Vgontzas was actively involved in the struggle against the Greek junta between 1967 and 1973. He defended numerous people before military and civil courts, which eventually led to his arrest.
Vgontzas was tortured and imprisoned by the military regime on the charge that he was a “champion of student unrest.”
Following the fall of the junta, he served as a victim’s advocate in various trials against regime torturers.
He was also a member of the defense team of Andreas Papandreou at the “Koskotas scandal” trial, which lead to the acquittal of the former prime minister in 1992.