Prosecutor heads to Germany

An Athens prosecutor is expected to visit German judicial authorities this week to gather evidence about bribes allegedly paid by German electronics and engineering giant Siemens to Greek officials. In his second visit to Germany in recent months, prosecutor Panayiotis Athanassiou was expected to depart for Munich yesterday to collect evidence relating to the Siemens trial that starts in Germany on May 26. Siemens is believed to have spent more than 100 million euros over a 17-year period in Greece to bribe local officials in order to secure state contracts through its Greek unit, Siemens Hellas. German authorities are believed to have collected enough evidence to prosecute some of those allegedly on the receiving end of bribes. According to sources, investigators have new evidence showing banks accounts, used to launder money, from which a former senior Siemens Hellas official paid 11 million German marks in suspicious transactions.