Three ex defense ministry officials get long prison terms

Three ex defense ministry officials get long prison terms

A court on Monday gave a life sentence to a former head of procurement at the Defense Ministry, Yiannis Sbokos, and long terms to another two ex ministry officials, after finding them guilty of breach of faith in connection with the acquisition of a military communications system.

Antonis Kantas, formerly deputy head of procurement at the ministry, and Nikos Leontaritis, a senior procurement official were given prison sentences of 25 and 20 years respectively. The court showed some leniency to Kantas who has admitted to pocketing bribes and recently returned to the Greek state millions of euros in kickbacks from defense deals.

All three former ministry officials served under Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who was defense minister from 1996 to 2011 and is currently serving a long sentence for money laundering in Attica’a high-security Korydallos Prison. 

The charges against Tsochatzopoulos himself in this particular case have expired under the statute of limitations. His trial in 2013 was on charges of money laundering for which the statute of limitations does not apply. 

The lawyers of all three ex ministry officials asked for their sentences to be suspended pending appeal.

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