Athens hospital chief to face magistrate over bribe-taking claim

The presidentof the Aglaia Kyriakou children’s hospital in Athens, Haris Tombouloglou, is due to face a magistrate on Friday after being arrested along with another man on Christmas Eve on suspicion of accepting a 25,000-euro bribe from a supplier.

Tombouloglou appeared at the capital’s main court complex on Christmas Day but was given a little longer to prepare his defense. Speaking to journalists, he denied the accusations that he solicited an under-the-table payment from a company hoping to win a tender to run a program to combat childhood obesity.

“I believe in God and justice,” he said. “This is a set-up. The money I took was a gift for the hospital. The company was afraid that it would be excluded from the tender.”

Tombouloglou was also a member of New Democracy, having stood as an election candidate for the party. However, he was ousted from the conservative group after his arrest. Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis said there would be “zero tolerance” of corruption.

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