Ex-defence minister fined 613,000 euros, slams successor

Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, currently on trial on money-laundering charges, was ordered on Thursday by the State Audit Council to pay a fine of 613,000 euros.

The fine pertains to “unaccounted for wealth” from the period between 1998 and 2010 which the politician had failed to list on his declaration of wealth statements, known as “pothen esches.”

Tsochatzopoulos is standing trial for allegedly receiving kickbacks for contracts during his tenure at the Defense Ministry from 1996-2001.

Meanwhile, speaking at the Athens Appeals Court on Thursday, Tsochatzopoulos accused his successor at the ministry, current PASOK president Evangelos Venizelos, of scrapping the offset agreements that went with the contracts for submarine purchases that are at the heart of the investigation.

Tsochatzopoulos said that by doing so, Venizelos had deprived the country of significant benefits linked to the procurements.