Court rejects ex minister’s appeal for defense council members to testify

A court hearing the trial for money laundering of ex-Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos on Friday rejected the former socialist strongman’s request for

members of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) who co-signed the procurement deals he approved during his stint as minister to testify.

The presiding judge, Christos Katsianis, said the appeal was being rejected, at least for the time being. “No specific evidence has emerged until now to lead to the conclusion that those witnesses can contribute in any way regarding the charges of money laundering faced by Mr. Tsochatzopoulos,” Katsianis said.

Tsochatzopoulos, who served as defense minister between 1996 and 2001, is accused of taking bribes and laundering money as part of the process of awarding procurement contracts.