Ex-Cypriot minister and son fail to appear at Tsochatzopoulos trial

A Greek magistrate is set to launch procedures for the issuing of a European arrest warrant for the arrest of former Cypriot Interior Minister Dinos Michailidis and his son to testify at the money-laundering trial of former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos (photo).

Gavriil Mallis is said to be considering applying for a warrant after Michailidis and his son failed to respond to a summons on Thursday to explain their alleged involvement in a money-laundering network Tsochatzopoulos is accused of setting up to cover the trail of kickbacks from defense deals.

Bank transfers worth millions of euros are said to have been traced to the bank accounts of Michailidis while Tsochatzopoulos’s first cousin and former business associate Nikos Zigras claimed to have given the Cypriot ex-minister a suitcase containing 80 million drachmas (the equivalent of around 235,000 euros).

Michailidis’s stint as interior minister in Cyprus coincided with Tsochatzopoulos’s as defense minister in Greece between 1996 and 2001.