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Society

Suspect in Greece’s Siemens, Defense Scandals Cuts off Bracelet, Flees

November 21, 2018

ATHENS – A Swiss-French banker facing charges of money laundering and bribery tied to a Greek defense arms contract deal and alleged to be involved in the notorious Siemens scandal vanished after appearing in a court and cutting off his monitoring bracelet.

The Justice Ministry said Jean-Claude Oswald went on the run and that police were looking for him. He had been in court where his case was being heard but no further details were available.

Officials believe he was a key figure in the long-running Siemens affair

The suspect is alleged to have played a key role in securing kickbacks in the Siemens bribery scandal and a series of defense deals including the procurement of submarines.

He had been indicted along with 11 other people in connection with kickbacks allegedly pocketed from the acquisition of self-propelled howitzers manufactured by German firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), said Kathimerini.

Oswald was extradited to Greece in 2015 following his arrest in Abu Dhabi and is a central figure in the corruption and bribery scandal between Siemens and Greek government officials during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athensregarding security systems and purchases by the national telecommunications company OTE in the 1990s.

Although there is no conclusive evidence, it has been claimed that the bribes may have been up to 100 million euros ($113.69 million) to win state contracts.

Some 64 people were accused, both Greeks and Germans but the major suspect, ex-Siemens chief executive in Greece Michalis Christoforakos, against whom European arrest warrants are pending, has been protected by Germany which refused to extradite him.

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