Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 1 minute ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Ex-minister goes on trial in Greece
April 23, 2013
 Print    Send to Friend

ATHENS: The trial of prominent former defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and 18 others —  including his wife, daughter, former wife, a cousin and former business associates — for money laundering charges stemming from alleged corruption in arms contracts is to continue on May 8.

Tsochatzopoulos, 73, his current wife, his German ex-wife, his daughter and another five suspects in the case have spent the past year in jail awaiting the criminal trial which commenced in the Athens Appeals Court on Monday.

All the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges, apart the former minister’s cousin Nikos Zigras, who had already confessed his guilt to the magistrate. 

“I want to apologise to everyone around the world, and ask for the grace and understanding of the judge, in this case that Akis Tzochatzopoulos has involved me in,” Zigras said.

Tsochatzopoulos, 73, is accused of money laundering linked to controversial arms deals during his years in power.

Facing a sentence of up to 20 years, 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, once again maintained his innocence, saying he “categorically denies the allegations which systematically have strived to give the impression of a criminal organisation with the intention of money laundering” during his time as defence minister.

“I was minister for six years, I did my best for there to be no accusations,” he said.

He also requested the release of his wife, saying: “They wanted me and they arrested my wife.”

The former Pasok heavyweight and his wife, Viki Stamati, were transported to the trial from jail on a police bus. The former minister was led down the vehicle’s steps handcuffed and clutching a file of papers.

His daughter, Areti, and German-born ex-wife Gudrun, and another three defendants were not attending the trial opening and were being represented by their lawyers.

Agencies

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Greek prosecutor to probe former minister’s ‘Plan B’
ATHENS: A Greek prosecutor has launched an investigation into whether any laws were violated after former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis revealed plans to hack into ta..
Greek crisis takes toll on animals
ATHENS: Hundreds of cats are loose on the streets, and food is running low for some residents of Athens’ zoo. It isn’t just humans who are suffering as Greece tries to..
Greece beats back wildfires, body found
ATHENS: Firefighters in Greece on Saturday succeeded in bringing two large wildfires in Athens and the Peloponnese under control, but police discovered the burned body of..
Greek firefighters battle blazes in the south and near Athens
ATHENS: Greek firefighters battled large fires in the south, on the outskirts of Athens and on an island near the capital on Friday as flames fed by strong winds forced t..
Tsipras fights to pass reforms in parliament
ATHENS: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras battled to win lawmakers’ approval on Wednesday for a bailout deal to keep Greece in the euro, while the country’s creditors, presse..
 
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright