Prosecutors at Tsochatzopoulos trial say court should reject objections raised by defendants

Prosecutors at the trial of former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos on Thursday argued that the court should reject all the objections raised by the defendants’ lawyers the previous day.

The former PASOK heavyweight and another 18 suspects are currently on trial on charges of laundering money allegedly obtained from bribes.

Tsochatzopoulos’s legal team had claimed that the 73-year-old could not be charged with money laundering as the allegation is based on charges of bribe taking for which he can no longer be prosecuted due to the statute of limitations.

Viki Stamati, the ex minister’s spouse who is also on trial, was absent from the court due to health problems on Thursday.

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.