Christoforakos verdict expected

The immediate fate of former Siemens Hellas CEO Michalis Christoforakos is due to be decided today in Germany, where a court could give the green light for him to be swiftly extradited to Greece, which is expected to further rock the country’s political landscape. Magistrate Nikos Zagorianos is due to travel to Germany with four Greek policeman who will escort Christoforakos back to Athens should his extradition be rubber-stamped. For that to happen, Germany’s constitutional court has to reject an appeal by the former Siemens executive’s lawyers. They opposed a verdict by a Munich court last week, which cleared the way for Christoforakos to return to Greece to face trial for allegedly overseeing slush funds that were used to bribe political parties and public officials to secure state contracts for his company. However, if the constitutional court decides to uphold the appeal, the extradition process will be, for the time being, frozen. «[Christoforakos] will respect the constitutional court’s verdict even if it does not seek the suspension of the extradition and he will return to Greece with his head held high,» Stefan Kursawe, one of the ex-Siemens Hellas CEO’s lawyers, told Deutsche Welle Radio. Ahead of Christoforakos’s possible return, New Democracy and PASOK have continued to deny accepting money from him while attempting to paint each other as being corrupt. It has created a pre-election atmosphere but sources indicated to Sunday’s Kathimerini that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is no longer considering calling a snap poll this fall. He seems content to wait until next February or March, when PASOK has declared its intention to force a general election over the issue of who will be the country’s next president.