An Appeals Court on Friday found guilty former Transport and Communications minister Tassos Mantelis of money laundering in the Siemens kickbacks case.
Following a lengthy procedure, the judges unanimously ruled that the 450,000 German marks found in Mandelis’ best man bank account which were deposited by the German company was the gift for a contract signed with the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) in 1997 when Mandelis was minister from 1997 until 2000 in PASOK government under Prime Minister Coastas Simitis.
Siemens Hellas former executive Ilias Georgiou was also found guilty of money laundering and bribery as well as Mandelis’ associate Aristidis Mantas for assistance in money laundering.
The court handed down a suspended sentences of eight years imprisonment for Mandelis and 12 years imprisonment for fellow defendant Ilias Georgiou, a former Siemens executive accused in the same incident. It also imposed 40-month suspended prison sentence on Mandelis’ associate Aristidis Mandas.
The sentence for the now 72-year-old former minister has been suspended pending appeal while the court has barred Mandelis from leaving the country and kept bail at 50,000 euros.
For 80-year-old Georgiou, the court again kept bail at 50,000 euros and barred him from leaving the country.
The money, which was received in two instalments in 1998 and 2000, was deposited in a Swiss bank account held by George Tsougranis, a close associate of Mandelis, under the nick name “Roccos.”
Meanwhile, Tsougranis was acquitted of charges of money laundering and bribe-taking.
The SIEMENS trial is still due but it was lost in translation of documents some time ago.