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Siemens Hellas former CEO awaiting extradition

14 August 2009 / 10:08:35  GRReporter
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The former CEO of Siemens Hellas, Michalis Christoforakos, is about to be transferred back to Greece any day now, after a decision by the Munich appeals court which accepts the Greek request that Christoforakos is extradited to his homeland. Christoforakos is the main culprit in the biggest bribing scandal in Greece for the past few years but has been avoiding Greek justice by now, hiding in Germany. Before leaving Munich, however, Christoforakos announced the names of two middlemen through which he was bribing politicians in Greece's two biggest political parties. The first was of the former chairman of the Greek Social Insurance Institute (IKA) Ioannis Vartholomaios, killed during a love scandal two years ago, through whom the bribery to New Democracy was paid; the other name was of the former deputy chairman of the Greek parliament, Kostas Gitonas, who was used to pay the money to PASOK.

In his testimony in the Munich court, Christoforakos claims that between 2003 and 2006, Siemens has been paying both men significant amounts of money in regard to the implication of the popular secret service system for tracking, control and guarding C4I, which hasn't yet been submitted to the Greek state. The system was supposed to be employed in the safety control during the Olympic Games in 2004, but hasn't been delivered by now. Christoforakos is under trial for briberies paid in Greece between 2004 and 2007 and according to the German laws he cannot stand trial for the same convictions by another court as well, in this case- the Greek one. In Greece, he will be under trial for briberies given in 2003, a total of 4 transactions to the value of €400,000.

This amount, however, is a drop in the ocean compared to the amounts of money that Siemens has been pouring into the two political parties since the 90s in order to ensure for itself political power, as well as to be assigned major projects, for which it was paid huge amounts by the Greek state. German judicial powers focused on 71 money transactions, a total of €57mil. The court accuses Christoforakos for only three of them, to the amount of €1,450,000, for which he received one year probation. In case the Greek court decides to sue Christoforakos for the period after 2004, it has to submit a new extradition request which should not contain bribery as motive, since German court has already pronounced on this charge.

Tags: Latest news politics Siemens Hellas bribery Greece
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