Diplomat gets Siemens blame

A senior Greek diplomat has been suspended from duty after an internal investigation found that he was responsible for the delay in notifying the government that a suspect in the Siemens case had transferred a large amount of money to South America before apparently fleeing Greece. The probe was launched after former Siemens Hellas executive Christos Karavelas became the second bribery suspect to dodge his court appearance in Athens only to resurface in Germany. The findings of the inquiry, made public yesterday, suggest that Alexis Koyevinas, director of the Foreign Ministry’s A8 directorate for South America and the Caribbean, failed to promptly inform the Greek Justice Ministry that Karavelas had transferred over 3 million euros to Uruguay. The Greek embassy in Montevideo sent notification of the transfer on May 23 but four days passed before the Justice Ministry was given any notice. By the time Karavelas was prohibited from leaving Greece on May 29, he had already made it to Germany.