Prosecutors charge businessman, defense official over helicopter contract

Prosecutors charge businessman, defense official over helicopter contract

Prosecutors have brought new charges against businessman Thomas Liakounakos and a former high-ranking Defense Ministry official in connection with the purchase of Apache military helicopters more than a decade ago.

Corruption prosecutors lodged criminal charges of breach of faith against Liakounakos and Spyridonas Travlos, who served as general secretary of the Defense Ministry during Yiannos Papantoniou's stint as minister.

The charges were lodged following a probe by corruption prosecutors into the procurement of 12 Apache helicopters which cost the Greek state 594 million euros as well as offset agreements linked to the contract.

Another seven former ministry officials also face charges in connection with drawing up and executing the contract for the helicopters. 

Copies of the case file were sent to Parliament which is to determine whether Papantoniou should face criminal charges in connection with the affair.

According to the prosecutors' probe, the contract for the purchase of the helicopters violated Greek laws and resulted in losses for the Greek state. 

Earlier this year, Liakounakos was charged in connection with a 2-million-euro bribe he is alleged to have paid to secure a contract for an airborne early warning system that was purchased by the Greek state in 1999. 

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