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GreekReporter.comGreeceProsecutor Says Tsochatzopoulos Demanded Bribes

Prosecutor Says Tsochatzopoulos Demanded Bribes

Tsohatzopoulos trialFelony Appeals Court prosecutor Georgia Adilini said on Sept. 11 during the trial of former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos on money laundering and corruption charges that he was a serial bribe taker who repeatedly accepted graft during his job.
Adilini charged that Tsochatzopoulos’ guilt was “fully proven when his accounts were opened” and said he was the mastermind among a scheme involving nearly a score of other defendants to steal money from defense contracts and try to hide it in offshore accounts and other means.
She said he used his office to solicit bribes and put the arm on weapons dealers “with indifference” toward how much the contracts would have to be inflated to pay for his take, ramping up the cost to the government and the taxpayer.
Tsochatzopoulos repeatedly interrupted the prosecutor’s argument to make objections but Adilini also charged that the bribes were paid out via the offset benefits, which the Ministry of National Defense oversees exclusively. She said his cousin, Nikos  Zigras was tasked with collecting the bribes.
Zigras testified that Tsochatzopoulos is guilty and urged him to confess. Tsochatzopoulos said he neer did anything wrong ever while in office and denied all the charges. But aside from Zigras’ damning testimoney, the prosecution referred to a number of documents recovered from Tsochatzopoulos’ office which it said implicated him with the offshore companies involved.
At the end of her argument, the prosecutor criticized the “network of beneficial regulations” which she said challenged the common sense of justice by allowing Ministers to commit significant criminal offenses.

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