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SIEMENS: Court rules 22 defendants guilty of money laundering, bribery

Fifteen years after the SIEMENS bribes scandal broke out, the Greek Justice ruled that  22 out of 54 defendants in total were guilty of money laundering and bribery. Two of the convicted are fugitives.

The Three-Party Court of Felony Appeals ruled on Tuesday that 22 of the defendants were found guilty of money laundering and bribery in connection to the public procurement regarding security systems purchased by then state-run Telecommunications enterprise OTE in 1997.

Among them are the former Siemens Hellas CEO Michalis Christoforakos who fled to Germany after the scandal broke out and for whom the German state rejected the Greek request fro extradition. Fugitive is also ex Siemens Hellas executive  Christos Karavelas.

Convicted have been also several executives of the German SIEMENS, two OTE executives and two bankers.

In contrast, former PASOK hing-ranking member and close aide of ex PM Costas Simitis, Theodoros Tsoukatos, was acquitted due to statute of limitation.

Another 27 defendants were acquitted due to the statute of limitation.

Five defendants were found not guilty.

64 defendants had initially been brought to trial but in the meantime ten of them died.

The ruling comes three years after the start of the hearing and 14 years after the start of the judicial investigation.

The court dropped the prosecution for the crime of bribery, adopting the prosecution’s proposal and incorporating the criminal offense into the private sector legislative framework.

The court is scheduled to announce the sentences on upcoming Friday.

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