x

Politics

Acquittals in 13 Million Euro Greek Defense Contract Bribery Case

ATHENS – In more acquittals for high-ranking officials and business leaders in a number of corruption cases in Greece over the years, executive Thomas Liakounakos, former General Secretary for Procurements at the Ministry of Defense Yannis Sbokos and Monaco-based British lawyer and businessman Peter Coleridge, a Liakounakos collaborator, were found innocent of bribery and money laundering.

That was in a 1999 case – prosecutions in Greece can take decades – with an Appeals Court Prosecutor recommending they get off, said Kathimerini, although no reason was given.

The case concerned the sale of four Erieye Airborne Early Warning and Control systems by Swedish company Ericsson Microwave that were mounted on Brazilian Embraer early warning aircraft.

The total deal – the acquisition of the four aircraft and the radar systems – was valued at $500 million and, according to accusation, bribes of $13 million were paid to Greek officials with no explanation if they kept the money or where it is.

The court convicted hristos Toumbas, Ericsson Microwave’s agent in Greece, and Swiss banker Jean-Claude Oswald, guilty, and they were sentenced to 3 and 6 years, but Oswald had skipped the country after breaking an ankle bracelet in November, 2018 and got away scot-free.

Sbokos, a close friend and collaborator of then-Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who was jailed for stealing from defense contracts but let out after saying he didn't feel well and was soon spotted eating lobster spaghetti at a seaside restaurant with his wife.

She had also been jailed but was released after saying she was a mother and needed to be home. 

Sbokos had been sentenced to 10 years for the same case by a lower court and to 22 years for bribery in another case but was freed in January 2020, after serving 7 years and 4 months of that other sentence.

In November, 2019 – some 14 years after an investigation began into a 1997 bribery scandal concerning the German engineering giant Siemens – 42 of 64 defendants were acquitted in a 70-million-euro ($85.37 million) bribery case.

It's never said where the stolen money went or if any was recovered and this case centered on bribes allegedly paid by the company to Greece's then state-owned Telecoms provider OTE. Ten defendants died during the investigation.

Oswald was also involved in this case and found guilty but was long gone by the time of the verdicts with no report where he is.

The court cleared Theodoros Tsoukatos, a consultant to former prime minister Kostas Simitis who admitted taking 1 million Deutschmarks on behalf of the former PASOK party as a “campaign donation,” alleged to be a bribe.

It took so long to prosecute him the statue of limitations had expired but he claimed he was vindicated after “taking the political responsibility and telling the truth.” Five defendants were cleared under a law passed at that time by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA downgrading penalties for bribes.

RELATED

ATHENS – With New York facing a rise in hate toward Jewish sites and people, Mayor Eric Adams came to the capital of Greece for an anti-semitism conference in a country facing criticism for it.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Starts to Erupt, Sending Ash Nearby (Video)

HONOLULU — Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, has started to erupt for the first time in nearly four decades, prompting volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby, authorities said Monday.

NASA is canceling a planned satellite that was going to intensely monitor greenhouse gases over the Americas because it got too costly and complicated.

NICOSIA - Despite a sigh of relief that the COVID-19 pandemic is on the downswing – if still causing cases, hospitalizations and deaths – there's concern on Cyprus about the appearance of a number of other viruses with winter looming.

DETROIT — Julius Randle scored a season-high 36 points on his 28th birthday, and the New York Knicks extended their win streak against the Detroit Pistons to 11 games with a 140-110 victory on Tuesday night.

DOHA, Qatar — While Iran's national team faced the U.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.