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Greek Court Upholds Bribery Conviction for Ex-Defense Official

December 12, 2018

ATHENS – An eight-year jail sentence for bribe-taking and money laundering given former defense official Yiannis Sbokos – cut from 16 years – was upheld by an appeals court in the case involving the purchase of a TOR-M1 short-range missile defense system.

Sbokos had been General Secretary for Procurements during the reign of former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who was given 20 years in jail for stealing millions of euros from defense contracts but served less than five after being released on health grounds, and then was spotted walking around Athens. His wife, who had also been convicted, was released after pleading that she was a mother.

The court also upheld charges against Petros Christodoulides, a broker, and businessman Giorgos Kamaris but dismissed charges against broker Giorgos Christodoulides and businessman Panos Germanos, said Kathimerini.

All five had been charged of money laundering and bribe taking in the deal that was signed in 1998 when Tsochatzopoulos was defense minister and prosecutors said was using that position to steal as much as he could before being caught. There’s no word on where the money went.

Last year, when Sbokos’ sentence was halved, he said that he had never been part of Tsochatzopoulos’s inner circle and had never served as his “henchman” or “cashier.”

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