Graft trial for ex-minister?

Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who has been accused of accepting bribes during the purchase of four submarines by the Hellenic Navy a decade ago, will not face any prosecution for this alleged offense but could be tried for money laundering, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A special council of five judges decided that Tsochatzopoulos could not face any further action over claims he accepted illicit payments to approve the purchase of the German submarines because of the five-year statute of limitations that applies to offenses that were allegedly committed while the suspect was serving as a minister.

However, the judges ruled that Tsochatzopoulos could stand trial for money laundering because it is alleged that this occurred when he was no longer a member of the government.

Tsochatzopoulos denies that he profited from the submarine deal and has lodged a complaint with the European Court of Justice, claiming that authorities have violated his right to be regarded as innocent until proven guilty.

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