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Ex- Greek defense minister jailed 20 years

Greece's former defense minister was sentenced Monday to 20 years in jail for money laundering and taking kickbacks.

Akis Tsochatzopoulos, 74, took at least €55 million ($75 million) in bribes in the 1990s, the court in Athens found.

The statute of limitations had run on the corruption charges but he was convicted of money laundering.

The charges related to purchases of Russian TOR-M1 short-range missiles and German submarines from 1996 to 2001, while Tsochatzopoulos served as defense minister.

Sixteen of 18 other defendants were found guilty and sentenced to prison for six to 16 years, including Tsochatzopoulos's wife, daughter, ex-wife, and cousin.

The trial had lasted five months.

Tsochatzopoulos was derided by the Greek public for his spendthrift lifestyle during a deep recession and government austerity measures.

Before Monday's sentencing, Tsochatzopoulos had already been sentenced in March to eight years for hiding the purchase of a house near the Acropolis. Prosecutors said the property was one of several tied to the money laundering scheme.


Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.