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Tsochatzopoulos Back to Court

tsochatzopoulosThe first morning hours of 11 April 2012, the Public prosecutor Popi Papandreou rang the bell of the neoclassical house at Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, announcing the former Minister of Defense his arrest warrant for political money laundering. Akis Tsochatzopoulos and his wife Vicky Stamati, who was present, weren’t thinking that this was the beginning of the end that would lead them both to  prison.
Ever since that day until April 22, 2013, the protagonist of the story will have counted 366 days of pretrial detention in the sixth ward- the so-called VIP ward- of the Korydallos prison.
In the Court of Appeals of Athens, everything is ready for the commencement of the high-profile trial. Some people say that this will be the largest trial after the case of 17-November. Others consider this a landmark, since after the trial in the Special Court for the Koskotas scandal, it is the first time that a former minister will have been in dock to be judged by ordinary justice.
The indictment includes for everyone one single felony, money laundering, for which the penalty provided ranges from ten to twenty years in prison. Just before the beginning of the trial, Tsochatzopoulos, once more reiterates he is the victim of a political crime.
The detained former Minister of Defense has send ten extrajudicial letters to the members of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense for the period that the purchase of the submarines and the TOM1 were approved. In his letters he uses an intense personal tone towards the recipients and calls them to come and testify at his trial.
According to information the extrajudicial letters are addressed to the former prime minister Kostas Simitis and to people who were serving as ministers at that time, such as Evangelos Venizelos, Kostas Laliotis, Theodoros Pangalos, Alekos Papadopoulos, Yiannos Papantoniou, Vaso Papandreou, Giorgos Romeos and Giorgos Papandreou, as well as to those who were then the leaders of the Armed Forces.

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