Two suspects in howitzer probe fail to appear

European arrest warrants are to be issued for banker Fanis Lyginos and Olaf Eschler, a vice president at German arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, after the pair failed to appear before magistrates investigating bribery allegations.

The two men were due to appear before magistrates Spyros Georgouleas and Christoforos Markos on Monday. They were given a two-day extension but did not show later either. The former deputy head of procurements at the Defense Ministry, Antonis Kantas, has named Eschler as having been involved in making under-the-table payments and Lyginos as having helped launder the money.

Kantas recently told Greek judicial authorities that he had been bribed to agree to the purchase of 24 self-propelled howitzers made by KFW in 2000.