NEWS

Arms firm mediator to be freed pending trial, after posting 500,000-euro bail

A council of misdemeanors court judges decided on Friday that Panayiotis Efstathiou, the 83-year-old former representative of German firm Atlas Elektronik, should be released but called on the suspect on a widening corruption probe to post a 500,000-euro bail payment.

The court also banned Efstathiou from leaving the country and ordered him to report to his local police station three times a month.

Efstathiou's lawyers had clashed on Thursday night with investigating magistrate Gavriil Mallis after the latter decided that Efstathiou should be remanded, despite a prosecutor's suggestion that the 83-year-old be released. The lawyers said that Efstathiou is in ill health, suffering from cancer, and insisted that he was not a flight risk. The 83-year-old was transferred to the hospital late on Thursday after claiming to feel faint following 12 hours of testimony. He is said to have implicated at least 10 members of the armed forces in connection with state kickbacks but no politicians, despite insistent questioning by Mallis.

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