ATHENS – Greek prosecutors are reluctant to bring bribery charges against LAOS party leader Giorgos Karatzaferis although 1.6 million euros was paid to his offshore company.
Instead, the head of the ultra-nationalist Popular Orthodox Rally party will reportedly be charged with failing to declare the source of his wealth, which is considered a felony.
The newspaper Kathimerini said bribery won’t be included in the charges after sources said there’s no evidence the money was a payoff for helping a defense supplier sell six Super Puma helicopters to the military.
Karatzaferis briefly served in a coalition government early in 2012 but was not in a position to influence arms contracts, it was said.
Anti-corruption magistrate Gavriil Mallis has been looking into the case in which Alexandros Tsatsos and Stavros Komnopoulous, the two men who brokered the deal for the helicopters in 2000, transferred the money to Karatzaferis. They have claimed through representatives that they were repaying a loan made to them by Karatzaferis.
Mallis has been examining the LAOS leader’s parliamentary activity and will forward the case file relating to the declaration of wealth charges to appeals prosecutor Panayiotis Brakoumatsos.