Former Transportation Minister Tasos Mantelis (PASOK) has decided to return the money he is being accused to have received as bribe by SIEMENS in order to receive reduced punishment. According to Greek media, Mantelis has declared to give 450,000 DM (230,000 euro) to public revenues office in order to enjoy favorable criminal treatment.
Tasos Mantalis faces charges of money laundering in the context of the digitization of Greek Telecommunications Company OTE back in 1997. Mantelis is being accused to have signed the contract with SIEMENS in return of 450,000 DM.
The request for the return of the money was submitted today by his lawyer. According to Star TV, the law that passed in December 2014, grants significant reduction of penalties to those who have economically harmed the public administration, provided they return the amount. However, the law excludes current and former government officials, the Star notes.
The scandal broke out in 2010, when a bank account was discovered to belong to Mantelis. Before an parliamentary investigation committee Tasos Mantelis had declared, that the money was not bribe but SIEMENS sponsoring to his election campaign.
The account was opened at a Canadian Bank in Geneva, Switzerland under the name “A. Rocco” by Mantelis’ best man.
“Tasos Mantelis who was Minister for Transport and Communications during the PASOK administration in 1998 admitted in May 2010 to a parliamentary investigation committee that the sum of 200,000 German marks was deposited in 1998 in a Swiss bank account from Siemens during his administration, allegedly for funding his election campaign. A further deposit of 250,000 German marks was made into the same bank account in 2000 which Mantelis claims is from an unknown source. (more on Greece-SIEMENS scandals here)
In April 2011, Mantelis was sentenced to three years imprisonment on 3-year suspension for “false income and assets declaration” for the time he had received the money. His conviction was confirmed in February 2014.
Apparently there is still a trial going on against him for the “money laundering” accusations and in this context he applied for the return of the money.
PS not bad, if you think that investigation started in 2010…. Apparently Mantelis is not politically important as former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos was.