US steps into SAIC dispute

The US Embassy in Athens has made a complaint to the Greek government about its decision to allow the dispute involving the American-based provider of the security communications system for the Athens Olympics to develop into a criminal rather than a civil case, sources said yesterday. Although embassy officials refused to confirm this was the case, sources said the action has come at the same time as the decision of San Diego-based technology firm Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to seek arbitration over the money it is owed by the Greek state. The contract was for 255 million euros but Greece has yet to pay some 40 million, citing problems with the system. SAIC included Siemens Hellas as one of its local partners in the deal and last week a former executive of the electronics firm, Dionysis Dendrinos, was arrested and charged with defrauding the Greek state during his involvement in the deal.