Witness points to Siemens millions

A witness in the investigation into the Siemens bribery scandal has told Sunday’s Kathimerini that politicians from PASOK and New Democracy were paid bribes for the conclusion of a number of contracts with the German electronics and engineering giant. The source, who wished to remain anonymous, has been giving evidence as part of the ongoing probe in Munich and claims that politicians profited personally from the signing of deals between OTE telecom, the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE), the army and Siemens. Kathimerini understands that evidence has been submitted to Greek prosecutor Panayiotis Athanassiou, which suggests that as much as 11 million euros was given to Greek officials in under-the-table payments, via off-shore bank accounts, between 2001 and 2003. So far, Athanassiou has indicated that there is not enough evidence to suggest that politicians were indeed involved. PASOK has demanded a parliamentary investigation into the affair but Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis said yesterday that Parliament could not hold a probe as long as Athanassiou is still conducting his own inquiries.