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Court finds ex Defense Minister Tsochatzopoulos guilty on all ‘golden bribes’ charges

An Athens Court found former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos guilty on all charges. According to the verdict on Monday morning, Tsochatzopoulos has been found guilty for the offense of money laundering from illegal activity and thus ‘by profession’.

Akis Tsochatzopoulo, 74, has been found guilty of having received bribes in order to agree for armament programs while he was Defense Minister 1996-200. Tsochatzopoulos served as minister in several PASOK governments, he was a founding member of the Greek Socialist Party, and continuous member of the Parliament 1981-2007.

Guilty were found also 16 co-defendants among them Tsochatzopoulos’ current and former wife, his daughter, his cousin and other collaborators.They were found guilty to have assisted Tsochatzopoulos to launder the bribes through a network of off-shore companies and purchase of properties.

“The court estimated the bribes at least 55 million euro,” private ANT1 TV reported.

Two more defendants were acquitted due to “doubts”.

The hearing lasted almost six months with 60 meetings.

The sentence for Tsochatzopoulos and the other defendants will be announced tomorrow, Tuesday.

While their lawyers try to convince the judges of “extenuating circumstances” like “regret”, the defendants could face imprisonment 10 to 20 years, or 2-12 years if judges accept mitigating circumstances.

sources: Ta Nea and others

more on Tsochatzopoulos here

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