NEWS

Syrian businessman denies link to Tsochatzopoulos

A Syrian businessman wanted by Greek authorities in connection with an ongoing investigation into cash-for-arms deals has said that he will cooperate with investigators if the arrest warrant issued against him is recalled, Kathimerini understands.

In a letter signed by Fouad al-Zayat and posted from Lebanon to investigating magistrate Gavriil Mallis, the businessman stated his intention to cooperate. However al-Zayat, who is believed to live in Syria, denied any links to ex-Defense Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos and a deal for the sale of Russian Tor-M1 missiles. Greek authorities believe he facilitated the sale by offering kickbacks to the jailed former minister.

“I have never met him and on no occasion had dealings with him or his staff,” al-Zayat said in the letter, which was seen by Kathimerini. Al-Zayat also denied any links to former Cypriot Interior Minister Dinos Michailidis, who is also in pretrail custody on bribery charges.

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