Siemens judge delves deeper

The magistrate leading the investigation into the Siemens cash-for-contracts scandal could be set to widen his probe to include other people who have not yet been treated as suspects, court sources said yesterday. The possibility of more people being questioned arose after Nikos Zagorianos yesterday asked former OTE telecom executive Ilias Georgiou, who was remanded in custody earlier this week, about the role that other officials at the phone company may have played in the signing of a lucrative contract with Siemens in the late 1990s. Zagorianos also asked about any contacts that Georgiou had had with businessman Socrates Kokkalis and former OTE managing director Petros Lambrou. Georgiou refrained from commenting on his relationship with either man but said that Lambrou had delayed signing any deal with Siemens Hellas before an 850-million-euro contract between OTE and the electronics firm was agreed to in 1997.