Court approves state’s civil suit request in Tsochatzopoulos trial

An Athens Appeals Court on Wednesday approved the Greek state’s request to file a civil suit against former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and another 18 suspects for laundering money obtained from bribes.

The trial is billed as the first large-scale court case against a leading politician in the country since 1991.

Tsochatzopoulos, who served as defense minister during the 1996-2001 period, is facing charges over taking bribes as part of the process of awarding procurement contracts. Two deals, worth about 3 billion euros, have been under particular scrutiny: the TOR M1 missile defense system and the purchase of submarines for the Hellenic Navy.

Standing trial alongside the ex minister and key socialist PASOK figure, who has denied the charges against him, is his spouse Viki Stamati and his daughter Areti Tsochatzopoulou.

The trial was adjourned until Thursday.