AUTH: criminal prosecution

Criminal prosecution of property purchased by Aristotle University

The prosecution of property acquired by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) for accommodation of part of its educational and research activities for an amount of € 12 million from the operational program "Macedonia – Thrace 2007-2013" , ordered the prosecutor of corruption in northern Greece.

The assessment of the conclusions of an investigation by the financial police, according to which the ultimately chosen complex of alleged urban planning arbitrariness and its commercial value was initially estimated at four times below the budgeted costs, the plaintiff of the Ephesus, Achilleas Zissis, requested prosecution in terms of crime while the case is being forwarded to a special corruption probe.

The investigation led to a lawsuit against property owners who complained that the terms of the game were violated. The announcement of the AUTH concerned an international public tender for the purchase of real estate to cover the increased housing needs of the foundation's academic activities. According to the announcement, the aim was to build a building or buildings on the southeastern side of Thessaloniki, with a total floor area of ​​at least 6,601 m², and expenditure was set at EUR 12 million (VAT value), co-financed by Community and national funds.

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To this end, two committees, a tendering committee and a committee of assessors were formed, consisting of students, engineers, civil servants and tax inspectors and the Bank.

After many months (and two blatant tenders), the tenders committee, which looks at all the tenders, seems to qualify as the most prestigious building complex on the east side of Thessaloniki, although, according to the complainants, the evaluators expressed their reservations about the specifications and the general situation.

As reported in the report forwarded to the corruption prosecutor Ah. And on the basis of which he had requested prosecution, the appraisers had, after an autopsy, pointed out violations of the conditions of the communication and also to misuse of city maps in the property in question, while expressing concern about the financial obligations that the Foundation would be imposed in the future. Moreover, they appear to have valued the commercial value at EUR 3 million, a price that is subordinated to the budgeted expenses.

According to the information provided to the Prosecutor, the AUTH then instructed a chartered appraiser to estimate the market value of the property as provided for in the tender. As a result of this process and as evidenced by the survey, the granting of the property market and the ratification of competition by the Senate of the university started with the assurance of a financial adviser that the buildings meet the specifications while the market value was estimated at EUR 11.9 million.

Sources of the AUTH report, however, that the whole process has passed control mechanisms (Court of Auditors, etc.) and that they have been legally complied with.

With information from RES

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