Ex-minister loses appeal for bail

An Athens misdemeanors court on Tuesday rebuffed a second appeal by former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos to be released from custody, where he is awaiting trial for money laundering.

The court based its decision on a proposal by prosecutor Evgenia Kyvelou, who reportedly stressed the severity of the charges the ex-minister is facing and expressed concern that the defendant could reoffend if released or could flee the country.

The wife of the 73-year-old former minister, Viki Stamati, who also faces charges of money laundering, was transferred from Korydallos Prison on Sunday to the nearby Thriasio Hospital to be treated for a gynecological problem. Her appeals for pretrial release have also been rejected.

Meanwhile, details began to emerge of the contents of diaries found at Tsochatzopoulos?s home when it was raided by police. The parts of the former minister?s notes that have been leaked to the press so far do not appear to incriminate any other politicians but provide insight into the fraught mind of Tsochatzopoulos over the last few months as he attempted to mount a legal battle to avoid standing trial on charges of embezzlement and money laundering in connection to alleged under-the-table payments for arms purchases that were then siphoned off to offshore accounts.

In his notes, Tsochatzopoulos makes several references to former Defense Ministry general secretary Yiannis Sbokos, who was in charge of arms procurements during the ex-minister?s tenure. ?The fires on small fronts are now becoming a huge flame and are in danger of burning me,? the ex-PASOK veteran wrote. ?We ran down our reserves in a few months but our debts are growing all the time. You keep looking on unperturbed. Sbokos, I had you next to me so many years and we did effective work. How can you tolerate that today I am on the floor, out on the street?? Sbokos is also facing charges in connection to the purchase of German submarines.