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SIEMENS bribes: Athens court finds ex PASOK minister Mantelis guilty of money laundering

A never ending legal story finally ended  – or not? A criminal appeals court in Athens found former PASOK Transportation Minister, Tassos Mantelis, guilty of money laundering for having accepted bribes of 450,000 DM (230,000 euros) by SIEMENS.

The court, however, lowered  the prison sentence imposed on him to five years, convertible to a fine of 140,000 euros.

While upholding the verdict delivered by a lower court and finding 73-year-old Mantelis guilty of accepting a 230,000-euro bribe from Siemens, the appeals judges reduced the original eight-year sentence to five years. The court allowed him to avoid prison by converting his sentence to a fine of 40 euros per day.

At the former minister’s request, they agreed to make the total sum of 140,000 euros payable in 32 monthly installments.

The former minister reportedly told the court, that he and his family were living on a pension of 1,100 euros and therefore he was asking for installments.

The court had found Mantelis guilty by four votes to one of accepting bribes totalling 450,000 German marks (230,000 euros) from Siemens in 1998 and 2000, which were deposited in a Swiss bank account under the name Rocos.

The cash was a bribe for awarding the German company the contract for digitising the centres of the state-run telecoms company, Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE).

In addition to the fine, the court ordered Mantelis to pay 30,000 euros as compensation to the state and the sum of 230,000 euros, which had been seized, as compensation to OTE.

Mantelis’ lawyer said his client will appeal against the decision at the Supreme Court, as well as seeking the suspension of the sentence.

The SIEMENS bribe was revealed in 2010, and Mantelis walked through all possible court instances although every time he was found guilty.

According to media reports in 2015, Mantelis had agreed to return the bribe money to the Greek state in order to enjoy favorable criminal treatment.

For the third defendant, the minister’s former associate Aristidis Mantas, the court imposed a suspended sentence of 30 months imprisonment, reducing the original sentence by 10 months.
Mantelis’ lawyer said his client will appeal against the decision at the Supreme Court, as well as seeking the suspension of the sentence.

For former Siemens executive Ilias Georgiou, the court lowered the original 12-year sentence by one year. The 80-year-old will be led to prison.

For the third defendant, the minister’s former associate Aristidis Mantas, the court imposed a suspended sentence of 30 months imprisonment, reducing the original sentence by 10 months.

The SIEMENS bribe was revealed in 2010, and Mantelis walked throught all possible court instances although every time he was dfound guilty.

PS I thought, 80+ year olds do not go to prison…

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