Former Siemens executive arrested

A former Siemens Hellas executive, who was arrested late on Tuesday, appeared in court yesterday on charges that he was complicit in committing fraud in connection to the 250-million-euro security contract for the Athens Olympics in 2004. Dionysis Dendrinos, a former general manager at the Greek branch of the Germen electronics and engineering giant, was given until Friday to prepare his testimony after being accused of defrauding the Greek state over the awarding of the contract. The security package was assigned to a consortium led by the US-based Science Applications International Corporation, or SAIC, but in which Siemens Hellas was a local partner. Greece paid almost 255 million euros for the communications system, known as C41. The contract is just one of the many strands to the Siemens case, which centers on alleged bribes paid by the company to politicians and public officials. Magistrate Nikos Zagorianos, who is leading the investigation, explained that he called Dendrinos in for questioning because he feared he was a flight risk. Zagorianos arrived at this conclusion after Dendrinos allegedly transferred a property on the Cycladic island of Tinos to his children. Another Siemens executive, Christos Karavellas, who skipped his court date only to resurface in Germany, also transferred several properties to his children before fleeing. Former Siemens CEO Michalis Christoforakos has also fled to Germany and the Tinos property that Dendrinos transferred to his children sits next to a home owned by the ex-Siemens Hellas boss. Dendrinos said that there was nothing suspicious about the transfer, claiming he did it for family reasons and because his health had suffered recently.