Ex-Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, currently serving a 20-year sentence after being found guilty of accepting millions of euros in bribes in exchange for defense deals and money laundering, on Tuesday appeared before judges to back the appeals of his wife, Viki Stamati, and daughter, Areti Tsochatzopoulou, for early release from their respective 12-year sentences in connection with the same case.
"My entire family has ended up in prison serving brutal sentences," Tsochatzopoulos told the Athens court. "My wife is in prison simply for being my wife and the same goes for my daughter.
"I am the target. I am the enemy in this all-out battle," the former minister said, protesting his wife's and daughter's innocence.
Both women have made several appeals to be released from custody so they may return home to their children. Stamati in particular has been under psychiatric treatment for more than a year after at least two suicide attempts.