Ex-minister’s wife claims she is ‘innocent’ of money laundering


Viki Stamati, the wife of former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, on Wednesday told an Athens appeals court that she is innocent of money laundering charges that landed her a 12-year prison sentence in 2013, insisting that she was convicted for “political” reasons.

Stamati, 54, has repeatedly appealed for her sentence to be commuted to house arrest, to no avail.

She told the court on Wednesday that she was found guilty of money laundering “because I am the wife of Akis Tsochatzopoulos, for revenge, for punishment.”

Last month, a court rejected the fourth appeal for early release by Tsochatzopoulos, who is serving a 20-year sentence for money laundering at Attica’s high-security Korydallos Prison.

Tsochatzopoulos’s lawyers have asked for the early release of their 77-year-old client, citing health problems and saying that they fear for his life.