Trial over misuse of state funds by NGO postponed

Trial over misuse of state funds by NGO postponed

The trial of eight people linked to the alleged misuse of millions of euros in state funds by a nongovernment organization called the International Mine Initiative (IMI) was postponed Monday until November 23.

The suspects include journalist Constantinos Tzevelekos, who set up the NGO, and Alex Rondos, who headed the Foreign Ministry’s department for international development cooperation between July 2002 and January 2003 and subsequently served as adviser to one-term Socialist prime minister George Papandreou.

The suspects have been implicated in the activities of the organization which had undertaken demining operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Lebanon and is alleged to have received more than 9 million euros illegally between 2000 and 2004.

One of the defendants requested a new court date due to a serious health problem in his family.

According to sources, Rondos claimed in earlier testimony that decisions regarding the operation and legal framework of Greek NGOs were taken at a central political level as they were linked to the exercise of foreign policy.

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