Greek heart surgeon arrested for allegedly demanding bribe to perform urgent bypass surgery

Greek police say they have arrested a heart surgeon in a major Athens hospital on felony charges of bribery and blackmail for allegedly demanding a bribe from a patient in order to perform urgent surgery.

Authorities said Thursday the 59-year-old doctor was arrested in Athens Wednesday following an investigation into a complaint by a patient hospitalized after a heart attack.

According to the complaint, the surgeon initially demanded 1,500 euros ($2,040) to perform bypass surgery, allegedly saying he would release the patient from the hospital if the money was not paid. The amount was eventually reduced to 500 euros.

Police said the doctor, who has not been named, was arrested after a relative of the patient handed him 500 euros in marked bills.