NEWS

Acquittal proposed for suspects in Chinook arms deal

acquittal-proposed-for-suspects-in-chinook-arms-deal

A prosecutor in a three-member appeals court in Athens on Wednesday recommended the acquittal of four suspects tried in connection with the procurement of Chinook military helicopters more than twenty years ago, citing lack of incriminating evidence.

Greek arms dealer Thomas Liakounakos, a senior executive of his company SONAK, his close associate Ilias Arkoumaneas, the former heads of arms procurements at the Defense Ministry between 1996 and 2002, Yiannis Sbokos and Antonis Kantas, were facing, separately, criminal charges of breach of faith, aggravated by the provisions of the law against state embezzlers, and instigation for breach of faith.

The charges were lodged following a probe by corruption prosecutors into the acquisition of 12 Chinook helicopters which cost the Greek state damaged of 5 million euros, as well as offset agreements linked to the contract.

The main contract was signed in 1998 when the disgraced Socialist Akis Tsochatzopoulos was minister of defense.

The court will announce its ruling in the coming days.