Prosecutor identifies 17 suspects in 1999 arms deal


A prosecutor has recommended to a council of Appeal Court judges that 17 people should stand trial over claims that bribes were paid to a former Greek minister and other officials in connection to the purchase of defense equipment.

Businessman Thomas Liakounakos was arrested in September 2015 over allegations he paid bribes of 1.6 million euros through an offshore firm to ex-Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, former general secretary for procurements Yiannis Sbokos and deputy armaments chief Antonis Kantas.

The 532-million-euro purchase under scrutiny was for Ericsson’s airborne surveillance system Erieye in 1999. Ericsson has since sold its defense business to Saab.

Liakounakos denies the charges but the prosecutor suggested that there is enough evidence to justify the businessman and 16 other suspects standing trial. They include a British lawyer and a Swiss banker. The judicial official recommended that another nine suspects be cleared of any charges.