NEWS

Let light be shed on shady accounts

In May 1996, Kathimerini reported on several accounts in a German bank containing hundreds of millions of dollars and marks that were sent to accounts in Switzerland, Britain, West Germany, France and elsewhere. These recipients were getting money through East Germany’s Handelsbank, the bank used by the country’s secret service, through accounts 0709-60-011-025 and 0709-85-011-025. Greek tycoon Socrates Kokkalis, Constantine Dimitriades (vice president of Kokkalis’s Intracom company) and Werner Vitan could draw checks from the accounts. The latter is a former East German citizen active in Intracom, especially with regard to foreign investments. It was ascertained that recipients included top Hellenic telecoms (OTE) officials who received «bonuses» for the OTE contracts that proved so lucrative for Intracom. Later, the Stasi files said that from the same accounts, through Kokkalis, funds were sent to Greek political parties. But the probe ended with a judicial decision to drop the charges. This allowed the subject to remain clouded in suspicion. If PM Costas Simitis really wants to govern in the light, let him help reveal what went on. The executive should not interfere with judicial investigations.