Giorgos Sachpatzidis told the Criminal Appeals Court in Athens that he was duped by former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who embroiled him in an allegedly complex scheme to launder money while the PASOK official was in government. Sachpatzidis’s lawyer told the court that his client had never troubled authorities before and only worked with Tsochatzopoulos because he thought the ex-minister could help expand his business.

The Thessaloniki-based entrepreneur also argued that since he worked with Tsochatzopoulos several years after he was alleged to have accepted bribes for defense contracts, he could not have been in a position to suspect the ex-minister had broken the law.