Ex-minister’s cousin tells all at money laundering trial

Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos’s cousin, Nikos Zigras (photo), told the Athens Appeals Court on Friday that the politician used him to launder bribe money he allegedly accepted as part of defense contracts.

Zigras said that he carried briefcases full of cash for Tsochatzopoulos, set up offshore firms that acted as fronts in property sales, and was instructed by the ex-PASOK veteran about which properties to buy.

Zigras also claimed he was given a briefcase containing 80 million drachmas (approx. 230,000 euros) by former Cypriot Interior Minister Dinos Michailides to pass on to Tsochatzopoulos in 1998.