NEWS

Siemens bribery probe set to reopen

The investigation into the Siemens cash-for-contracts scandal is to be reopened, sources have told Sunday's Kathimerini, after a separate Supreme Court probe into how the judicial part of the case was handled suggested serious oversight on the part of the judge in charge, Nikos Zagorianos. Sources indicated that the report compiled by a Supreme Court deputy prosecutor suggests that Zagorianos should face criminal proceedings connected to the way he ran the investigation. It has been alleged that some important documents, possibly indicating that politicians accepted money from the Greek branch of the German electronics and engineering giant, have disappeared. Zagorianos also stands accused of failing to detail what documents he recovered from Siemens Hellas's offices when he conducted a sudden raid on the premises in February. The impression given by the Supreme Court report, according to sources, is that Zagorianos helped to cover up some aspects of the case. This ties in with a separate investigation into the magistrate by court inspector Yiannis Papanikolaou. «The whole case has the distinct aroma of corruption, lack of transparency and incorrect application of the law at the expense of the state,» said Papanikolaou in his report. Zagorianos denies any wrongdoing. The Supreme Court report will be a point of reference for a council of appeal court judges due to meet on January 7 to appoint an investigating magistrate to find out whether alleged payments by Siemens Hellas to public officials and politicians were covered up. Last week, PASOK MPs also asked for a parliamentary committee to be set up to investigate the affair.

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