ATHENS (Reuters) – A Greek appeals court suspended a 10-year jail term imposed on a cleaner whose conviction for lying on her CV about finishing primary school triggered outrage in the country.
The 53-year-old woman worked at a publicly funded nursery for 15 years until a 2014 review revealed she had faked a certificate to say she had completed all 6 years of primary school.
The woman dropped out in the fifth grade, but doctored a school report to add another year. That allowed her to work as a cleaner until the discrepancy was discovered and she was fired.
The appeals court in the town of Larissa suspended the sentence on humanitarian grounds on Wednesday, but the conviction itself will still be examined by the Supreme Court.
“The court … accepted the petition for a suspension,” George Sinellis, the woman’s lawyer, told journalists. “That means (she) will today leave jail.”
Implementing a law on defrauding the public to the letter, the Greek first instance court initially passed a 15 year jail term on the woman, then reduced it to 10 years on appeal.
The case caused outrage in Greece, where ordinary people complain about corruption among the elite, convicted terrorists allowed time out of jail, and lighter sentences for much more serious offences.
A banner placed outside the courthouse read: “Their justice is classist, seeking only to push us to destitution!”
(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)