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Switzerland Probing Tsochatzopoulos Too

tsochatzopoulosAlready in detention, sentenced to eight years in prison for failing to disclose his wealth, and facing more serious charges of money laundering and corruption, former Greek defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is being investigated by Swiss prosecutors trying to determine whether banks or anyone in that country helped him in his scheme to steal.
Swiss prosecutors have frozen 10 million Swiss francs (€8.22m) in assets linked to him and said they were was investigating numerous money laundering allegations reported by banks after Tsochatzopoulos’ arrest.
Once a powerful politician who almost became prime minister in the 1990’s, Tsochatzopoulos, a former stalwart of the PASOK Socialist party, has denied wrongdoing and plans to appeal.
He faces a further trial on charges of money laundering and using offshore companies to buy a luxurious apartment in Athens. “This poses significant reputational risks not only for the banks involved but for Switzerland as a whole,” the Swiss report said.
Tsochatzopoulos was found guilty in March of submitting false income declarations between 2006-2009 and fined 520,000 euros ($681,000) and the court also ordered the seizure of his mansion under the Acropolis. Tsochatzopoulos served as defence minister from 1996 to 2001 and development minister between 2001 and 2004. He has been in jail for a year so far.
In 1996, he contested the party leadership but lost out to Costas Simitis. In a separate case, judicial authorities have ordered 19 people, including Tzochatzopoulos and his immediate family, to stand trial on money laundering charges relating to alleged corruption in arms contracts. His wife and daughter are being held in prison custody on money-laundering changes.

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