Court upholds convictions for Tsochatzopoulos, 15 others

Court upholds convictions for Tsochatzopoulos, 15 others

An Athens appeals court on Monday upheld convictions for 16 people including former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos in connection with millions of euros worth of kickbacks from state defense contracts.

The president of the court, Anthi Gamari, announced the verdict of the court which found the former socialist minister as well as several of his relatives and former associates to be guilty of money laundering.

After the verdict was called, the defendants' lawyers presented their arguments for more lenient treatment of their clients.

Tsochatzopoulos was in court but his wife Viki Stamati and other co-defendants were absent. Last May, the 78-year-old former minister was granted early release, due to his ill health, from Attica's Korydallos Prison, where he had been serving a 20-year prison sentence following his conviction in 2013 for money laundering. 

The court deemed that the amount of money laundered was 10 million euros, not 40 million euros, the sum that had been stated at the outset of the trial.

The court is expected to announce sentencing on Wednesday.

All but one of the 16 defendants – former senior defense ministry official Yiannis Sbokos – are not currently in prison.

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