Testimonies on arms deals end

Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos yesterday blasted as «unacceptable and harmful» his predecessors’ arms procurement deals that a parliamentary committee is probing. Spiliotopoulos was the last witness to appear before the committee. The results of the probe are due on January 14. The minister said contracts signed under the previous PASOK government for the purchase of Russian TOR M1 air-defense missile systems and US TPQ radar units had harmed the public interest. He said it was unacceptable that the radar supplier faced a penalty of only 6 percent of the value of the contract should something go wrong with the deal, and criticized the payment of a deposit of 90 percent before delivery. Spiliotopoulos also attacked his predecessors for not setting a time frame for testing the radars, claiming they had still not been tested successfully, four years after delivery.