Four arms deals being probed

Four defense procurement contracts worth a total of 7 billion euros and signed by a former socialist minister, are being probed by a team of Athens prosecutors, Kathimerini understands.

The contracts were approved by Yiannos Papantoniou, who succeeded fellow PASOK member Akis Tsochatzopoulos as Greece’s defense minister in 2001.

The programs that are under scrutiny include the purchase of 12 Apache helicopters from Boeing, the procurement of Leopard tanks from Germany, a contract for Type 209 submarines and the upgrading of six frigates. The authorities have already requested access to bank accounts held by Papantoniou and members of his immediate family, Kathimerini understands.

Tsochatzopoulos, who is currently in custody in Athens’s Korydallos Prison, is facing money laundering charges in connection to the procurement of weapons while he was defense minister.

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