A first instance court prosecutor’s office will summon a total of 37 individuals to testify in the case concerning possible kickbacks paid by German companies in the purchase of submarines by Greece, it was announced on Monday. The summons will be issued on felony charges of breach of faith, bribery and money laundering.
The suspects were identified based on evidence available to the prosecutor’s office and on findings provided by the financial crimes squad SDOE. They are mostly defence ministry civilian personnel as well as military officers, members of committees set up for the purchase of the submarines and private citizens. Apparently all 37 were involved in the affair since 1998 -- when it was decided that the submarines be purchased through directly assigned contracts signed with the German companies HDW and Ferrostaal and Skaramangas Shipyards - and until 2002, when the initial contracts were amended to ensure offset benefits. The prosecutor’s office continues the investigation for the period after 2002, while the likelihood to forward the case file to Parliament to investigate possible liability of MPs remains open.
Based on the available evidence, the Greek state suffered millions of euros in damages as a result of the fact that contracts regarding offset benefits were not executed. According to statements forwarded by German judicial authorities to the prosecutor’s office, a total of 55 million euros were used in so-called “useful payments” in Greece.