The former mayor of Thessaloniki, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, says he will take his appeal against a jail sentence for embezzlement to the Supreme Court.

“I think everyone realizes that my name has been unjustly blackened,” the ex-public official said in a statement. “The verdict against me was a matter of expediency. I was a scapegoat. My only hope is the Supreme Court.”

In July, Papageorgopoulos had his sentence for being an accessory to the theft of 18 million euros from municipal coffers reduced to 12 years.

The court also reduced life terms that had been imposed on Michalis Lemousias, the former general secretary of the Thessaloniki Municipality, and Panagiotis Saxonis, the former treasurer. Lemousias was given a term of 13 years and five months and Saxonis 20 years and six months.