Former Siemens head in Greece arrested in Germany

26th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The former Siemens boss was hiding in a private house near Munich, where the German industrial giant has its headquarters.

Frankfurt -- The former head of Siemens in Greece was arrested Thursday in southern Germany on corruption charges, prosecutors in Munich told AFP.

"Michalis Christophorakos was arrested early this morning, at 6:30 am (0430 GMT)," a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, Alfons Obermaeier said.

The former Siemens boss was "hiding in a private house" 70 kilometres (44 miles) south of Munich, where the German industrial giant has its headquarters.

Greek authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Christophorakos on May 20 along with a request for his extradition.

"He does not accept the extradition," the spokesman said, which means the process could last "certainly more than four weeks."

Christophorakos was the general director of Siemens' Greek subsidiary and is suspected along with three German former directors of paying bribes to obtain a lucrative contract with the telecommunications operator OTE.

The German suspects have already been apprehended.

Other kickbacks were allegedly paid to Greek politicians in exchange for Siemens being included in work on security systems for the Athens Olympic Games in August 2004.

The German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung has estimated the illegal payments amounted to around 100 million euros (140 million dollars).


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