NEWS

Two more suspects questioned in TT probe

Prosecutors heading an investigation into millions of euros in unsecured loans alleged to have been issued by Hellenic Postbank (TT) on Tuesday questioned another two suspects – a former TT employee who was given conditional release and businessman Dimitris Kontominas, whose fate is to be decided on Wednesday after a magistrate and prosecutor disagreed on whether to remand or release him.

Haralambos Yiagoudis, a 45-year-old TT employee, has been accused of issuing unsecured loans at favorable rates to Kontominas, to the former major stakeholder in Proton Bank, Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, and to a third businessman, Kyriakos Griveas, as well as the latter’s wife. In Yiagoudis’s testimony, he insisted that he evaluated all the companies before approving the release of the loans and claimed that the beneficiaries had been making their loan repayments up until 2012.

Meanwhile a judicial council is to decide on Wednesday on whether Kontominas, who is alleged to have been granted 110 million euros in loans from TT, should be remanded on charges of fraud, breach of faith and money laundering. Popi Papandreou, the prosecutor leading the TT probe, called for him to be remanded but investigating magistrate Giorgos Andreadis disagreed, proposing instead that the owner of Alpha television channel and the Interamerican insurance firm pay 5 million euros in bail to secure his conditional release.

In his testimony, Kontominas is alleged to have insisted that all the loans received by his companies from TT had been issued on the basis of adequate guarantees. He also claimed to have put up company shares as collateral for the loans, sources said, noting however that the value of the shares fell due to the impact of the country’s financial crisis.

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