NEWS

Ex-Siemens manager has heart attack

Just a few hours after becoming the second person to be remanded in custody in connection with the Siemens cash-for-contracts probe, the company’s former technical director in Greece, Emmanouil Stavrianou suffered a heart attack yesterday, for which he was being treated at Korydallos Prison. Magistrate Nikos Zagorianos decided to remand Stavrianou late on Thursday despite complaints from the former Siemens employee that he was suffering from serious health problems. Doctors had not given any details of his condition by yesterday evening. Stavrianou had denied being involved in the payment of bribes to any politicians or public officials to secure contracts for the German electronics and engineering giant’s Greek branch, Siemens Hellas. The ex-technical director has been accused of bribery and money laundering in connection with the transfer of 1 million Deutschmarks into his personal bank account in 1998. Stavrianou denies that there was anything suspicious about the payment (the equivalent of 500,000 euros) and, according to court sources, told Zagorianos on Thursday that the money was a bonus from Siemens headquarters in Germany. He also claimed much of the cash is still in the bank. Stavrianou was the second employee of Siemens Hellas to be taken into custody. Former telecommunications manager Prodromos Mavridis was remanded on Wednesday after answering questions about his alleged role in the operation of the slush fund. Ex-financial manager Alexandros Athanasiadis, was released on bail of 700,000 euros, after appearing before Zagorianos. Three more suspects, former Siemens employees Christos Karavelas and Ilias Georgiou and ex-OTE official Giorgos Skarpelis, are due to give their depositions next Friday. The key suspect in the probe, former Siemens Hellas managing director Michalis Christoforakos, failed to appear in court this week, saying he was unable to return from Germany due to ill health.