Ex defense minister reacts to SDOE witness testimony

There was tension on Friday during the ongoing trial for money laundering of former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos when the latter protested against the line of questioning of the prosecution to a witness who is a senior employee at the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE).

Tsochatzopoulos protested that the witness, Nikos Maitos, was being guided by the lawyer, only to be told to sit down and be quiet. «Mr Tsochatzopoulos, sit down, it is not your turn to speak,» the prosecution lawyer told the 73-year-old former socialist stalwart. «I understand your frustration but please keep your cool. Your life and freedom are at stake,» the lawyer added.

According to court sources, the witness conveyed the surprise of authorities when they discovered that while Tsochatzopoulos appeared to have been paying rent on his mansion on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street he proceeded to purchase the property had been purchased in the name of his wife Viki Stamati.

Stamati, who is also on trial for money laundering along with another 17 co-defendants, has been in and out of hospital, citing various health problems, since her detention pending trial in April last year.