NEWS

Top court prosecutor orders probe into PASOK finances

IOANNA MANDROU

TAGS: Crime, Corruption

Supreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou ordered on Monday an investigation into the finances of socialist PASOK party, following the testimony of a former party cadre who said that private companies funded the party to cover its campaign needs.

Theodoros Tsoukatos, who was a close aide to Socialist Prime Minister Costas Simitis in the 1990s, claimed PASOK received about 16 billion drachmas in the runup to the general elections of 2000 from private companies which he refused to name.

He said the money was used to pay for the transport of voters with planes, boats and buses, for ads in media, for campaign rallies, printing of flyers etc.

He also claimed the same practice was followed by other parties and is still in place.

The former PASOK deputy was testifying in the long-running Siemens scandal which looks into claims that the Greek branch of Siemens bribed politicians and public officials to secure state contracts.

Tsoukatos has admitted to having met with the former CEO of Siemens Hellas, Michalis Christoforakos, in 1999 and having accepted a payment of 1 million German marks, or the equivalent of about 500,000 euros, on PASOK’s behalf.

Christoforakos fled to Germany in 2009 and local courts have refused to extradite him to Greece.

The case will be handled by the head of the economic prosecutor's office, Marianna Psaroudaki. Her office is already investigating the funding of Greek political parties. 

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