Christoforakos set for extradition

The legal tug-of-war between Greece and Germany over the former CEO of Siemens Hellas could be about to come to an end, sources told Kathimerini yesterday, as the two sides are close to an agreement that will lead to the key suspect in the cash-for-contracts scandal returning to Athens. Although Michalis Christoforakos is fighting Greece’s extradition request, sources said that German authorities are set to give the green light for him to return to Athens to stand trial after arranging with Greek officials that, should he be found guilty of operating a large slush fund to pay off politicians and public officials, he will serve his sentence in Germany. The former executive was arrested near Munich in late June after evading Greek justice for about 40 days. Christoforakos failed to appear in court in Athens to face questioning in connection to his alleged role in the bribing of officials. According to sources, a Munich appeals court is set to decide in the first 10 days of August whether to extradite him. It is expected that Christoforakos will return to Greece by the end of October at the latest, although he could be back in Athens in September. There has been no word yet on the whereabouts of former Siemens financial manager Christos Karavelas, who also fled Greece last month. Sources said the German authorities believe he may no longer be in the country after heading there initially from Athens. Meanwhile, OTE telecom’s former deputy managing director, Giorgos Skarpelis, who was rearrested this week minutes after being released from custody, is to appear in court tomorrow. Skarpelis had been remanded in custody on suspicion of bribery and money laundering but was released after a council of judges ruled that procedures were not followed. However, magistrate Nikos Zagorianos looks set to remand him once again.