Prosecutor blasts ex-minister, wife in corruption trial

Prosecutor blasts ex-minister, wife in corruption trial

The public prosecutor in the criminal trial of former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos accused the veteran politician of receiving millions of euros in bribes for defense contracts and of setting up a complex money-laundering network to cover his trail while insisting that the ex-minister’s wife, one of 18 co-defendants, had been fully aware of her husband’s illicit activities.

In a summing-up speech that lasted five hours and is to continue Thursday, Georgia Adeilini claimed Tsochatzopoulos had known that kickbacks from defense contracts would “burden indebted Greeks” but had “not cared.” She also condemned the law granting ministers immunity from prosecution, noting that it leads to ministers who have committed illegal acts “slipping away” and to “disastrous consequences for the country.”

Adeilini also rebuffed the line of defense taken by Tsochatzopoulos’s wife, Viki Stamati, who has insisted she knew nothing about the property purchases linked to the money-laundering network. “Both the former and current wife knew where the money was coming from,” Adeilini said, referring to Tsochatzopoulos’s ex-wife Gudrun Moldenhauer.

The prosecution is expected to complete its summing-up Thursday or Friday before defense lawyers take over. That process will take several days as the 19 defendants in the trial have a total of 53 advocates.

The court’s verdict is expected in early October.

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