Pros­e­cu­tor iden­ti­fies 17 sus­pects in 1999 arms deal

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A pros­e­cu­tor has rec­om­mended to a coun­cil of Ap­peal Court judges that 17 peo­ple should stand trial over claims that bribes were paid to a for­mer Greek min­is­ter and other of­fi­cials in con­nec­tion to the pur­chase of de­fense equip­ment.

Busi­ness­man Thomas Li­ak­ounakos was ar­rested in Septem­ber 2015 over al­le­ga­tions he paid bribes of 1.6 mil­lion eu­ros through an off­shore firm to ex-De­fense Min­is­ter Akis Tsochat­zopou­los, for­mer gen­eral sec­re­tary for pro­cure­ments Yian­nis Sbokos and deputy arma- ments chief An­to­nis Kan­tas.

The 532-mil­lion-euro pur­chase un­der scru­tiny was for Eric­s­son’s airborne sur­veil­lance sys­tem Eri­eye in 1999. Eric­s­son has since sold its de­fense busi­ness to Saab.

Li­ak­ounakos de­nies the charges but the pros­e­cu­tor sug­gested that there is enough ev­i­dence to jus­tify the busi­ness­man and 16 other sus­pects stand­ing trial. They in­clude a Bri­tish lawyer and a Swiss banker. The ju­di­cial of­fi­cial rec­om­mended that an­other nine sus­pects be cleared of any charges.

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