Businessman held for bribery over defense deal

Businessman held for bribery over defense deal

Businessman Thomas Liakounakos was arrested Tuesday on charges of bribery and money laundering after a prosecutors’ probe found that a 2-million-euro bribe for an airborne early warning system that Greece purchased in 1999 passed through a Monaco-based offshore company in his name.

Prosecutors brought the charges against Liakounakos after establishing that the money was channeled through another two offshore companies, one of which was managed by Giorgos Kamaris, another businessman who is implicated in investigations into other state procurement deals. In his testimony, Kamaris claimed that the company in question belonged to Yiannis Sbokos, the former general secretary for military procurements who is serving time in jail for money laundering along with former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

Additional testimonies by Petros Christodoulides, a trader, and Liss-Olof Nenzell, a former employee of the Swedish company Ericsson, helped prosecutors seal the case against Liakounakos, Kathimerini understands.

Liakounakos, who appears to have been Ericsson’s representative in Greece more than a decade ago, denied any wrongdoing. He is to remain in custody until Friday, when he is to appear before an investigating magistrate.

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