Ex-minister faces prosecutor

Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos faced a special prosecutor in Athens on Monday on extensive charges of money laundering that emerged from a months’ long investigation.

Tsochatzopoulos, who was arrested on Wednesday and spent the Easter holidays in a holding cell, is pleading not guilty of all charges.

According to a report by prosecutors Evgenia Kyvelou and Eleni Siskou, the 73-year-old minister has pocketed millions of euros in under-the-table payments for defense procurements since 1997, with the frequency of illicit transactions peaking between 1999 and 2002. These activities were concealed with the help of close associates who ran three offshore companies to hide the money, some of which was used to buy the ex-minister?s array of assets, the report said.

The report lists all the transactions, including the names of the financial institutions involved.