Corruption probes inching forward

The director of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), Stelios Stasinopoulos (photo), is to visit the vice prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Nikos Pantelis, on Tuesday to brief him on a controversial list of more than 30 politicians including several former ministers who have been implicated in tax evasion and the illegal accumulation of wealth.

Pantelis reportedly requested a full debriefing regarding the politicians on the list, which went viral after being leaked to the media last week, and details about what exactly they are being charged with.

Meanwhile two contractors, Iosif Livanos and Giorgos Zografakis, testified before prosecutor Popi Papandreou, who is probing a money-laundering network in which three ex-ministers have been implicated. According to sources, the two contractors did not provide evidence to back up their claims accusing current Parliament Speaker and former Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, former Transport Minister Michalis Liapis and former Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis of involvement in money laundering with rival contractor Yiannis Carouzos.

Nikos Hatzinikolaou, the publisher of the Real News newspaper which leveled the claims against the three ex-ministers, also shed no further light on the case, invoking his right to protect his sources, Kathimerini understands.

In a separate money-laundering probe meanwhile, Nikos Zigras, a first cousin -- and one-time close business partner -- of former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, testified once again before an investigating magistrate. According to sources, Zigras shed light on the alleged role of Yiannis Sbokos, the former head of arms procurements at the Defense Ministry, in the corruption racket. Sbokos’s name is on a list of politicians being investigated for corruption.

In a related development, sources attributed a delay in the publication of politicians’ declaration of assets forms (“pothen esches”) for 2010 to the reluctance of some to submit the necessary data for the completion of their applications.

Separately, an appeals court prosecutor called for 12 of the 32 defendants charged in connection with the Vatopedi case, concerning a controversial land swap between the state and the Orthodox Church, to be indicted.


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