NEWS

Olympic security system probed

A prosecutor in Athens yesterday ordered an investigation into foreign press reports which alleged that German electronics and engineering giant Siemens paid bribes to Greek officials to help the sale of the security system for the Athens Olympics in 2004. Panayiotis Poulios is the second prosecutor to launch a probe into the matter as his colleague Panayiotis Athanassiou has already begun investigating the system, known as C4I, which Greece claims did not work properly. The Greek government spent more than 250 million euros on the surveillance package. Last week, following allegations of embezzling at Siemens, authorities in Germany arrested five people and have charged another seven. According to the German magazine Focus, investigators believe that the firm paid hundreds of millions in bribes worldwide. They allegedly found that 40 million euros had been placed in an account in Greece. Court sources said that the managing director of Siemens in Greece, Michalis Christoforakos, and Prodromos Mavridis, who was information and communications general manager at the firm until April, are likely to soon be questioned in connection with the recent allegations. Sources said that authorities will also speak to Dionysis Dendrinos, who was general manager of One Siemens, which was a member of the consortium responsible for the high-tech Olympic security system.