Ten years after the discovery of the scandal and judges have finally took the decision to refer 64 suspects to stand trial over bribes paid by German giant SIEMENS to secure a public contract. Among the 64 suspects are 13 German nationals, executives of the parent company. According to the judges decision SIEMENS has allegedly paid bribes of estimated €70 million to secure a contract and digitize the network of then Greek Public Telecommunications System OTE. The contract “Convention 8002” was signed in 1997.
Among the suspects is also the former powerful man of SIEMENS HELLAS Michalis Christoforakos, who escaped to Germany and authorities there refused to extradite him to Greece’s previous requests.
The 13 German names mentioned refer to former executives of the parent company and former executives of OTE.
The charges refer to “money laundering”, “active and passive bribery” and “accomplishment to such actions.”
Theodoros Tsoukatos, the former consultant of former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, is also on the suspects’ list. “Tsoukatos appears to have distributed 1 million Deustche Mark and has maintained that the funds ended up in PASOK’s accounts.”*
Others suspects include top officers of the Siemens’ Greek subsidiary, as well as German nationals who are said to have approved payments and bribes to Greece.
In their decision, the judges acquit 80 people of the charges.
In November 2014, the Financial prosecutor had sent his 2,368-page report to a council of judges to make the final decision on whether the suspects should stand trial over the so-called Contract 8002, for Siemens to digitize OTE telecom’s network. The suspects are said to include 19 Siemens and 14 OTE telecom executives. It is alleged that nearly 70 million euros in bribes were paid to secure the deal.
The only Greek politician to have been convicted in connection with the scandal is ex-Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis, who was given a three-year suspended prison sentence in 2011 after being found to have accepted payments of 450,000 Deutsche Marks (230,000 euros) from Siemens between 1998 and 2000.
* an explanation similar to Schaeuble’s explanation the cheque of 100,000 DM he received by arms-dealer Schreiber had ended in CDU’s accounts … A cheque that cost Schaeuble the chair of becoming German Chancellor.