Greek defence staff charged in submarine bribes case

29th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Greek prosecutor Thursday charged 29 people including naval officers and defence ministry staff over bribes allegedly taken to approve a German submarine order a decade ago, a justice source said.

Prosecutor Grigoris Peponis has levelled criminal charges of bribery, embezzlement, breach of duty and money-laundering against the suspects over the submarine order from German shipbuilding consortium HDW-Ferrostaal.

The suspects, which include defence middlemen, were not identified.

The affair has also implicated the country's defence minister at the time, Akis Tsochadzopoulos, who is under a separate investigation.

Ferrostaal is also facing charges at home over the 2000-2002 bribery case.

Greece only accepted delivery of the submarines in March 2010 to guarantee the survival of one of its shipyards and after long negotiations with the German authorities. It had blocked delivery in 2006, claiming problems in the construction of the first vessel, the Papanikolis.

© 2011 AFP

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