Suspect testifies in German arms bribery case

Panayiotis Eftathiou, a suspect in the unfolding German arms bribery scandal, was set to testify in the case Thursday.

The 83-year-old, who has been named by Antonis Kantas, the ex-deputy head of procurements at the Defense Ministry between 1996 and 2002, is believed by the authorities to have played a key role in transferring millions of euros in kickbacks.

Another suspect, arms dealer Dimitris Papachristos, 78, is to face an investigating magistrate on Friday. His lawyers have claimed he suffers from amnesia.

Meanwhile reports Wednesday said the government has recouped a portion of the losses suffered from the affair after Kantas returned 7 million euros to state coffers.

Kantas, who has admitted to pocketing 16 million dollars in bribes for securing arms contracts, returned the money on Tuesday after investigating magistrates traced 13.7 million euros in an account in Singapore. The ex-official’s lawyers said they would try to return the rest of the money “in the coming days.”

Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the money would go toward “covering shortfalls in the health and education sectors.”

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