Beltsios held in custody in Athens but denies dishing out bribes

Yiannis Beltsios, a former close associate of ex-Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, was remanded in custody in Athens on Saturday despite denying allegations that he acted as a middleman between arms companies and public officials in the payment of bribes.

Beltsios was brought before magistrates based on testimony given in Germany.

He insisted, however, that he had a purely professional relationship with the German industrial group that sold four submarines to the Hellenic Navy.

Beltsios said that he worked for the company as a consultant in Greece between 2000 and 2003 and that he was paid a total of 300,000 Deutsche marks for his work.

He insists that this payment was declared to Greek tax authorities and that no suspect transfers to his accounts have been discovered.