Akis Tsochadzopoulos, a former defense minister convicted in 2013 to 19 years in prison for corruption, stepped out of the Greek capital's Korydallos Prison on Tuesday after being granted early release.
“I am not at my best. I need to take care of myself,” the 79-year-old, who was released on the grounds of poor health, told reporters waiting for him outside the prison.
The disgraced former minister, who has also been convicted of laundering ill-gotten gains from a bribes-for-contracts scandal, attributed his freedom to the efforts of his wife, Vicky Stamati, who was also granted early release last year from an eight-year sentence for money laundering.
“I would like to thank my wife above all, who throughout this entire time, alone and despite abandoned by everyone – acquaintances, friends and others – kept up the fight and ensured the best possible outcome,” Tsochadzopoulos said.
Tsochadzopoulos was granted early release on Monday by a panel of five Athens judges.