NEWS

Ex-minister to argue his case in Parliament

Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is due to appear before MPs on Thursday as they prepare to decide whether to launch a parliamentary investigation into allegations he accepted bribes in a Greek navy deal to purchase four German submarines.

Tsochatzopoulos, who denies any wrongdoing, will have the chance to put his case to deputies before they vote on whether a committee should investigate allegations of bribery and money laundering.

PASOK MPs have asked for the former Socialist deputy to be probed. Their request has been backed by main opposition New Democracy.

In their recommendation the PASOK MPs suggest the statute of limitations has not yet expired for Tsochatzopoulos?s alleged offenses. If this is so, the parliamentary committee could indict the former minister to appear before a special court.

Tsochatzopoulos?s successors, Yiannos Papantoniou (PASOK), Spilios Spiliotopoulos and Evangelos Meimarakis (both New Democracy) may also be investigated.

Greece ordered the four Type 214 diesel-electric submarines, manufactured by ThyssenKrupp in Germany, between 2001 and 2005 but the deal, worth 1.26 billion euros, was plagued by complications after Greece rejected the first submarine due to technical problems.