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Former greek Defense Minister sentenced for corruption.

Tsochatzopoulos

Tsochatzopoulos

The former Greek Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday night because of bribes and  money laundering in connection with defense deals.  The Court accused him of receiving  more than six million euro in bribes for the purchase of armored vehicles, four German submarines and Russian anti-aircraft missiles.

Due to his advanced age Tsochatzopoulos must serve only one-fifth of his sentence. He was convicted along with several members of his family.

Tsochatzopoulos, which is one of the founding members of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) is said to have collected bribes during his tenure from 1996 to 2001. “There was so much bribery money that he could not even figure out the total,” said  Attorney G. Adilini. The bribes were transported in bags and suitcases. An indictment for corruption was no longer possible because of the statutory limitation period.

Tsochatzopoulos is a symbol of corruption in Greek politics. In many years, he is the first politician which was accused and sentenced for money laundering. Since his arrest a year ago, he sits in custody in a high security prison in Korydallos on the outskirts of Athens.