ATHENS – Alex Rondos, a one-time advisor to former PASOK leader and then-Prime Minister George Papandreou, has been cleared of charges linked to a scandal around a Non-governmental organization (NGO) called the International Mine Initiative (IMI).
A three-judge appeals court acquitted him in a case over the alleged mismanagement of millions of euros in public funds by IMI, which undertook demining operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Lebanon.
Eight people had been implicated and the court also cleared three former ministry employees, while four other people – including a journalist and two diplomats – were convicted, said Kathimerini.
Rondos headed the Foreign Ministry’s department for international development cooperation between July 2002 and January 2003 before serving as adviser to Papandreou.
Rondos had rebuffed the charges, claiming that his role at the ministry did not oblige him to check the legitimacy of documents for approving funds to NGOs and indicating that the signatures on certain documents approving the release of funding to IMI were not genuine.
IMI received some 2.3 million euros for projects for the removal of landmines in Bosnia and Lebanon.