Greece ex-minister faces trial for graft

2013-04-22 13:03

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Athens - A prominent Greek ex-minister went on trial in Athens on Monday on charges of money laundering linked to controversial arms deals during his years in power.

Facing a sentence of up to 20 years, 73-year-old Akis Tsochatzopoulos is accused of pocketing kickbacks on state contracts to buy a Russian-made anti-missile system and German submarines during his stint as defence minister from 1996 to 2001.

The Greek state ended up paying surcharges of millions of euros.

Tsochatzopoulos, a founding member of the socialist Pasok party, denies the accusations against him.

He has been detained at Korydallos prison in western Athens since his arrest a year ago.

Other than Tsochatzopoulos, 18 more people, including his current wife, his German ex-wife and his daughter, are accused of complicity.

According to local media, this is the first money laundering trial involving a former minister since a major embezzlement scandal involving banker George Koskotas in the late 1980s that implicated several government figures.

Court packed

Tsochatzopoulos was on Monday transferred under heavy police presence to Athens' court of appeal, which has the power to try current or former members of the government.

The proceedings, held in the court's largest hall that was packed with lawyers and journalists, opened with a series of questions and objections by the defence.

Tsochatzopoulos' former wife and daughter, who are being held in pre-trial detention, did not appear in court and were represented by their lawyers instead, according to a judicial source.

A total of 14 witnesses are scheduled to testify and the trial is expected to last at least a month, said the same source.

In early March, Tsochatzopoulos was already sentenced to eight years and fined €520 000 for hiding revenue in a separate case.

The court also ordered the seizure of his opulent home near the Acropolis, the 2009 purchase of which he had failed to declare.

Read more on:    greece

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.