Greek Cypriot ex-minister summoned to Greek political bribes trial
ATHENS – Agence France-PresseA former Greek Cypriot minister has been summoned to testify in the money laundering trial of a leading Greek ex-minister linked to controversial arms deals, a judicial source said today.
A Greek inquisitor issued the summons for Dinos Michaelides, interior minister of Cyprus in 1993-1999, and his son Michael after they failed to account for $10 million (7.7 million euros) found in a joint bank deposit.
A witness has testified that Michaelides, who heads a Limassol law firm, was used by Greek former defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos to park bribes in offshore bank accounts.
Tsochatzopoulos, 73, is accused of pocketing kickbacks on state contracts to buy a Russian-made anti-missile system and German submarines during his stint as defence minister from 1996 to 2001.
The Greek state ended up paying surcharges of millions of euros.
Tsochatzopoulos, a founding member of the socialist Pasok party, denies the accusations against him.
He has been detained at Korydallos prison in western Athens since his arrest a year ago.
Other than Tsochatzopoulos, 18 more people, including his current wife, his German ex-wife and his daughter, are accused of complicity.