NEWS

Eight ex-defense officials charged over frigate deal

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Corruption prosecutors on Monday brought breach of faith charges against eight former Defense Ministry officials in connection with a contract to improve six Hellenic Navy frigates 13 years ago.

Spyros Travlos, the Defense Ministry’s general secretary of procurements at the time, and another seven former officials are to be probed over the deal which, prosecutors claim, ended up costing the Greek state millions of euros more than it should have done.

Prosecutors want the case file to go to Parliament so that the House can probe whether the then defense minister, PASOK’s Yiannos Papantoniou, should also face criminal charges. For Papantoniou to be prosecuted, Parliament would have to vote to lift his immunity.

The deal, which was signed in February 2003, was for the modernization of six S-class frigates. Officials are said to have paid 23 million euros more than necessary and to have failed to secure the offsetting measures that usually accompany such deals.