Former Greek minister sentenced to 20 years for corruption
A former Greek defence minister was sentence to 20 years in jail Monday after he was found guilty of money laundering in a five-month trial, dpa reported.
Akis Tsochadzopoulos, 73, who was defence minister from 1996 to 2001, was convicted along with 16 of his 18 co-defendants, who included his wife, ex-wife and daughter. He has been in custody since his arrest last year.
The court also handed a 12-year sentence each for his wife and daughter. Other defendants were given prison sentences of between 10 to 16 years.
Tsochadzopoulos was found guilty of using an extensive money-laundering network to conceal millions of euros in bribes in a deal involving a submarine construction project awarded to a consortium based in Germany.
The former minister was sentenced in April in a separate case to eight years in prison for submitting false income declarations. His home, which is located in one of Athens' most prestigious street at the foot of the Acropolis, was also seized, and he was fined 520,000 euros (706,000 dollars).
Prosecutors at his most recent trial said 160 million euros in bribes were paid and Tsohadzopoulos, together with his associates, used offshore companies to net the cash.
Tsohadzopoulos has denied any wrongdoing.
His trial is the first of a prominent government official since a banking scandal in the early 1970s involving Socialist politicians, including Andreas Papandreou, who later became prime minister.