Former Defence Ministry official reveals details of bribe payments

Representatives of German and Russian companies paid bribes to Greek officials to secure defense contracts, an ex-Defense Minister official who was one of those to benefit personally from the deals told a judge on Wednesday.

Antonis Kantas, deputy head of procurements at the ministry between 1996 and 2002, is believed to have netted around 16 million dollars in bribes.

He admitted to Gavriil Mallis, a magistrate who investigates corruption scandals, that he accepted the under-the-table payments and identified the businessmen who gave him the money.

During two days of testimony, which concluded on Wednesday with Kantas being remanded in custody, the ex-ministry official also described how the bribes paid in connection with seven procurement programs worked their way from foreign banks to lenders in Costa Rica, Panama and then Singapore.

Kantas did not identify any politicians that he believes to have taken bribes.

He served under Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who has been jailed for laundering the kickbacks he received, and, briefly, Yiannos Papantoniou.

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