Ex-minister’s cousin seeks release, citing TB

Nikos Zigras, the first cousin and ex-business partner of former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, on Tuesday made a third appeal to have his detention, pending trial for money laundering, substituted with a conditional release, citing his deteriorating health.

According to his lawyer, Zigras is suffering from tuberculosis and has serious grounds for his appeal to be considered. Zigras has reportedly urged for his cooperation with authorities investigating Tsochatzopoulos for money laundering to be taken into account. The ex minister’s cousin had been the first to cooperate with prosecutors probing a massive money laundering racket centered on Tsochatzopoulos.

Apart from testifying that Tsochatzopoulos?s family had been aware of kickbacks accepted by the ex-minister and of the money-laundering network, Zigras has implicated several more suspects, including a former Cypriot minister.

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