Supreme Court says bribery charge against Tsohatzopoulos statute-barred

A Supreme Court Judicial Council has recommended dropping a charge of passive bribery against former minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on the grounds that the statute of limitations has been exceeded. The charges relate to the signature of a contract for the purchase of German-made submarines by the Greek Navy, on terms that were highly unfavourable for the Greek State and eventually allowed the company to terminate the contract after 80 percent of the price had been paid.

    The justices accepted the arguments of the deputy prosecutor and examining magistrate, who said that the charge of accepting bribes was statute barred because there had been two Parliamentary sessions since the offences were committed and they cannot be a lawful prosecution.

    For the charge of legalising income from illegal activity, however, the council has recommended that Tsohatzopoulos be indicted to stand trial since he was not a minister at the time that the offences were committed and is not protected by statute of limitation laws for ministers.

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