Ex-Defense Ministry official testifies before magistrate over alleged kickbacks

Antonis Kantas, the deputy head of procurements at the Defense Ministry between 1996 and 2002, was testifying before a special magistrate for corruption on Tuesday in connection to charges that he took kickbacks for arms deal during his term in office.

Kantas served at the Defense Ministry under jailed Akis Tsochatzopoulos and then Yiannos Papantoniou.

Greece’s anti-money laundering agency allegedly found 13.7 million dollars in a Singapore bank account that belonged to offshore firms linked to Kantas, prompting the probe.

Kantas was first arrested in September for allegedly accepting 500,000 euros from German electronics and engineering giant Siemens in connection with a Greek program for the modernization of the armed forces’ telecommunications system in 1999. He was arrested again on Friday in connection with the new bribery claims linked to the off-shore account.

According to the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency, Kantas is expected to divulge details of his dealings to investigating magistrate Gavriil Mallis, which may broaden the scope of the investigation to include other suspects.

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