Former Greek President Christos Sartzetakis dies aged 92

Christos Sartzetakis

The former President of the Hellenic Republic, Christos Sartzetakis, passed away in the early hours of the morning at the age of 92.

Christos Sartzetakis was hospitalised in the Intensive Care Unit of the People's Hospital.

It is recalled that in recent years he was facing serious health problems.

On December 1, the former President of Greece was admitted to the People's Hospital due to aspiration pneumonia.

On December 3, he had to be admitted to an Intensive Care Unit due to acute respiratory failure.

Christos Sartzetakis was a supreme judge and served as President of the Hellenic Republic from 1985-1990.

Sartzetakis gained worldwide recognition for his role in unyielding prosecutor in the sensational case of the assassination of the left-wing member of Parliament (and ‘doctor of the poor’) Grigoris Lambrakis, committed on 22 May 1963 in Thessaloniki by right-wing extremists.

Lambrakis had called for Greece to disarm and withdraw from NATO and over half a million people attended his funeral.

Despite obstruction of justice by his superiors, Sartzetakis doggedly pursued his investigation to the end. He succeeded in convicting the police officers involved in the murder; they were later rehabilitated by the Greek military junta of 1967-1974.

As President of the Republic, he exercised his duties with great devotion to the constitution, especially during the turbulent period 1989-1990, when the electoral contests did not give an absolute majority to any party.

Sartzetakis is widely viewed as a hero of democracy.

Although he is thought of highly by the Greek Left, he was always an anti-communist Greek nationalist in his personal political views.

His zeal to uncover the facts behind the Lambrakis assassination was not based on his political views, but on his professionalism and sense of duty.

He still attends many ceremonial events in Greece, including patriotic celebrations.

Sartzetakis has been honored several times as doctor honoris causa and been given the highest decorations of many states. He is still widely known and respected for his integrity as a judge, and as a fighter for democracy.

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