Former Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos and 17 other people went on trial Thursday for allegedly embezzling almost 52 million euros from the municipality’s coffers.

The suspects include department directors, deputy mayors and a former general secretary. So far, one municipal employee has been jailed for embezzlement after admitting to stealing 1 million euros.

Papageorgopoulos served two terms as Thessaloniki mayor until 2010.

Financial inspector Anastasia Tsemberi told the court that proper checks were not conducted and municipal employees refused to cooperate with her when she began her inspections. It is expected that the trial will last for at least a month.