Former defense Minister of Greece and his wife arrested pending trial on charges of waiver transactions for the procurement of weapons in the early 2000-ies, and money laundering.
According to Reuters, Yannos Papantoniou is accused of receiving $ 2.8 million in kickbacks for the modernization of six Greek fleet frigates in 2003. The former Minister denies any wrongdoing.
“The instrumentalization of the Greek judicial system threatens our very democracy,” Papantoniou said.
According to Greek prosecutors, the ex-Minister and his wife must remain in pre-trial detention, otherwise the couple will leave the country if they are not detained.
Papantoniou, a long-time socialist politician, was the Minister of defence of Greece from 2001 to 2003.
The Greek Parliament has launched an investigation against Papantoniou in April 2017, considering the corruption associated with contracts for defense in the amount of about 4.56 billion dollars. Parliament then postponed the investigation, saying it found “insufficient evidence of misconduct.”
However, the documents on Papantoniou were handed over to the senior anti-corruption Prosecutor to investigate possible money laundering related to the alleged kickbacks.
Earlier, Papantoniou was accused of tax evasion by almost $ 1.5 million – this amount was in a Swiss Bank account owned by the politician’s wife.