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Jail Sentence 22 Years for Former Greece Defense Ministry Official

December 13, 2018

ATHENS – The Greek Defense Ministry’s former General Secretary for Procurements, Yiannis Sbokos, was given a 22-year prison sentence by a three-justice appellate court, after his 16-year sentence had been cut to eight after being convicted on corruption charges.

Sbokos avoided a life sentence on the two felony convictions after the court recognized as he previous clean record and showed remorse, the business newspaper Naftemporiki said, while two other defendants got off lightly: one received a three-year suspended sentence and the other was allowed to buy out jail time at the rate of 5 euros ($5.69) a day.

Sbokos had been was convicted of bribery and money laundering in a case involving a 1998 purchase of the Russian anti-aircraft system Tor-M1. He was  close when then-Defense Minister  Akis Tsohatzopoulos who was given a 20-year sentence for stealing from defense contracts but served less than five before being released on health grounds.

A court earlier 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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