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Ex-Greek Defence Official Returns Bribes

kantasA former Greek government official who admitted taking about $16 million in bribes more than ten years ago to wave through arms contracts, has returned 7 million euros of the money to the state, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.
Antonis Kantas, deputy armaments chief at the defense ministry between 1997 and 2002, was arrested and charged this month after investigating judges found he had 13.7 million euros of unaccounted-for money in a Singapore bank. Kantas is the first Greek official to openly admit to taking bribes relating to major arms deals with foreign companies from countries including Germany, France, Russia, Brazil and Sweden.
“We are making every possible effort to return the rest of the money in the coming days,” his lawyers said in a statement. Kantas´s testimony to investigating judges, in which he names the arms dealers who he says paid him, has led to a wide-ranging investigation in which two men have been charged and will appear in court in the coming days. Dimitris Papachristos, 78, one of the two charged, was arrested on Monday. His lawyer said on Tuesday that his client would cooperate with the investigation but that he also suffers from serious health problems, including amnesia.
In his defense, Kantas has alleged that KMW gave bribes in order to secure the contract, amounting to 9.5 million euros. However in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeiting, KMW denies any wrongdoing.
In his testimony Kantas alleged that, “Early in 2002, when the contract was completed and about a semester later I was given UBP Zurich Bank forms in order to make an account. In this account Papachristos deposited about 500,000-euros in the name of his company OXYLOS, through Cyprus Popular Bank and another 50,000-euros in the name of a different company, GRAMON SERVICE. Furthermore, he deposited 100,000-euros in the DRESDNER BANK account that Mr. Lyginos had created for me (Mr. Lyginos is a Greek- Swiss employee of Dresdner Bank). I believe that the money came from OXYLOS. I was given another 100,000-euros by Papachristos in cash in my office in the center of Athens in Greece.”
(source: thenews)

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