Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked Doris Leuthard, the President of Swiss Federation for the release of Greek assets in Switzerland. The amount totaling 30 million Swiss francs (27.5 million euros) was blocked by Swiss prosecutors in 2012, when the scandal of bribery involving Greek politicians broke out.
Tsipras and Leuthard had a meeting on the sideline of the “New Silk Road” in Beijing, China. The two leaders have reportedly discussed administrative and legal assistance in the tax area.
The news that Greece asked the return of the assets was first broadcast by Swiss radio RTS. It was later confirmed by Dominique Bugnon, a spokesman for the Swiss President. Bougnon did not elaborate on the content of the talks, though.
This amount was confiscated in 2012 by the Swiss Public Prosecution Office, due to the scandal of corruption and bribery involving Greek politicians, including former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, concerning money laundering through the purchase of defense equipment.
According to Swiss media, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office (BA) has blocked since 2012 at least 35 million Swiss francs on Swiss bank accounts in the context of a Greek corruption and bribe scandal funded by the Greek ex-defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos. This involved money laundering in armament procurement projects.
Greek tax authorities are said to have lost 20 million Swiss francs in the affair. money that landed in Swiss bank accounts. According to information provided by the BA, 4 million have been repaid to Greece in 2014 so far.
Ex Minister Tsochatzoppoulos was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, but he was released end of April due to health reasons. Friends of the former PASOK minister had donated 200,000 euros necessary for his bail.
the 74-year-old ex minister now lives happily with child and wife, who was also released from prison much earlier, also for health reasons.
Akis Tsochatzopolous served just a little more than five years of his prison term.