NEWS

Third Siemens suspect bolts

Judicial authorities are expected to issue an arrest warrant today for a former Siemens Hellas official who appears to have become the firm’s third executive to have fled the country while still being treated as a suspect in the cash-for-contracts investigation. Volker Jung, a former manager of the communications unit at Siemens in Germany and the ex-head of the supervisory board at Siemens Hellas between 1998 and 2003, had been released on bail since being questioned last year as part of the probe into the alleged payment of bribes to politicians and public officials by the Greek branch of the German electronics and engineering giant. Jung, a German who lived on Paros, was ordered to appear regularly at his local police precinct as part of his bail terms. Local officers apparently informed the prosecutor’s office in Athens on Saturday afternoon that Jung had missed his appointment. It then emerged that the former executive had flown to Munich on Tuesday after learning that the restrictions on his movements, against which he had appealed, would not be lifted. Sources said the decision to maintain Jung’s travel ban was taken on Monday, when the German’s legal team was informed, but the prosecutor’s verdict was not made public until Friday. Jung had appeared before magistrate Nikos Zagorianos in June 2009. The 71-year-old was questioned about his role at Siemens Hellas and his connections with Greek politicians and businessman Sokratis Kokkalis. Jung served as a board member at Kokkalis’s Intracom technology firm between 2003 and 2005. Jung’s departure to Germany is a major embarrassment as he is the third Siemens Hellas executive to leave Greece unchallenged. The company’s former CEO, Michalis Christoforakos, left in May 2009 for Munich, where he successfully appealed against his extradition to Greece. Christos Karavelas, a former financial manager at the company, fled Greece a month later. His whereabouts are still unknown.