ATHENS – Already ordered to return to jail, former Greek defense chief Akis Tsochatzopoulos’ will have some assets also be seized, a court ruled, and he was fined 1.5 million euros ($1.75 million) but will only have to pay one million euros ($1.17 million).
The seizure includes real estate and cash although he said he didn’t have enough money to pay for a required amount to be released from jail earlier this year on health grounds after undergoing an operation. It’s common in Greece for high-level prisoners to get out of jail by complaining they’re ill.
His wife, Vicki Stamati, who was also convicted, also got out of jail after she said she had mental problems and was a mother. She was also ordered to return in a new guilty finding for the pair and others involved in the theft of scores of millions of euros from defense contracts.
The court released some property to be used by the former minister’s daughter Areti and his ex-wife Gudrun, as well as the home where he lived with current wife, Viki Stamati, and their son in the northern Athenian suburb of Halandri.
Judges had initially wanted the Halandri property seized as well, but were convinced not to do so by Stamati who said she’s divorcing Tsochatzopoulos because she complained she’ being persecuted for being his wife.
The same court also ordered Tsochatzopoulos back to prison after he was granted release last year on the grounds of ill health, but reduced his sentence to 19 from 20 years. He is likely to be transported to Halkida Prison so serve out the remainder of his sentence.
The court is also due to decide whether the time already served by Areti Tsochatzopoulou and Stamati for money laundering is sufficient, Kathimerini said.