Siemens Greek bribery scandal

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The Siemens bribery scandal in Greece is a corruption and bribery scandal in Greece over deals between Siemens AG and Greek government officials during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece[1] regarding security systems and purchases by OTE in the 1990s.[2]

Although there is no conclusive evidence, the scandal has created a serious change in the attitudes of the Greek public, most notably a dissatisfaction with both main political parties in Greece, New Democracy and Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and creating a "hole of authority" leading to a vicious circle of political instability.

It has been claimed that the political outcome of the case may be analogous to that of Italy 15 years ago.[3]

It has been claimed that the bribes may have been up to 100 million Euro.[4] These bribes were allegedly given in order to win state contracts.[1][5]

It has been indicated that a few PASOK members acting as individuals may have been involved, although this is simply a claim and nothing has been proven or at least any evidence come to light.[6]

A Greek prosecutor, after two years of investigations, filed charges on 1 July 2008 for money laundering and bribery.[7] It has been claimed that it is certain Siemens divisions that were involved in the transactions.[8]

On 30 May 2008, a prosecutor's investigation took place at the offices of Kyriakos Mitsotakis for donations and grants by Siemens.[9]

In 2009, the central figure of the scandal, ex-Siemens chief executive in Greece Michalis Christoforakos, left for Germany to avoid arrest, in obscure conditions involving the foreign minister Dora Bakogianni.[10]

Tasos Mantelis, former Minister for Transport and Communications during the PASOK administration in 1998, admitted in May 2010 to a parliamentary investigation committee that the sum of 200,000 German marks was deposited in 1998 in a Swiss bank account from Siemens during his administration, allegedly for funding his election campaign. A further deposit of 250,000 German marks was made into the same bank account in 2000 which Mantelis claims is from an unknown source.[11]

As of August 2012, the Greek government has signed a settlement with Siemens worth 330 million euros.[12]

Trials[edit]

The trial of the persons accused of involvement in the scandal was scheduled to begin on February 24, 2017. A total of 64 individuals are accused, both Greek and German nationals.[13][14] The central figure of the scandal however, ex-Siemens chief executive in Greece Michalis Christoforakos, against whom European arrest warrants are pending,[15][16] will likely be absent, as Germany refuses his extradition to this day. Initially arrested in Germany in 2009, the accusations against him by German courts have been dropped.[17][18] Greece has been demanding his extradition since 2009, and considers him a fugitive from justice. Christoforakos during his trial in Germany testified to has bribed (2%) both the two political parties, ND and PASOK (through Geitonas, Vartholomeos, partners of Kostas Simitis).[19]

In July 2017, Mantelis was found guilty by Greek courts of bribery and money laundering, receiving an eight-year suspended sentence.[20]

In October 2017, prosecutor Georgios Voulgaris reiterated the warrant to bring Christoforakos (including five German nationals and ex-Siemens top figures) to trial, making it the third time Greek Justice made this demand.[21][22]

See also[edit]

  • Siemens scandal, refers to the 1914 scandal in Japan that involved "... collusion between several high-ranking members of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the British company Vickers and the German industrial conglomerate of Siemens AG."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Report: Siemens Scandal May Involve Top Executives". DW. 27 November 2006.
  2. ^ "Greek prosecutor files charges over alleged Siemens corruption scandal". International Herald Tribune. 1 July 2008. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008.
  3. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  4. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Answers sought in Siemens scandal". Kathimerini. 31 January 2008.
  6. ^ "Siemens Scandal Causes Political Turbulence". GreekNews. 23 June 2008.
  7. ^ "Siemens Hit by Corruption Charges in Greece, Norway". DW. 2 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Former Siemens executive sentenced for bribery scandal". People's Daily. 29 July 2008.
  9. ^ "Ο Στουρνάρας, ο Κυριάκος και το τεράστιο πολιτικό σκάνδαλο της Siemens". Mignatiou.com. 2015-12-23. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  10. ^ Μπακογιάννη: ο Τσίπρας πετά λάσπη
  11. ^ "Χορηγός μου η... Siemens". Ta Nea. 27 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Debt crisis: Greek government signs €330m settlement with Siemens". The Telegraph. 27 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Υπόθεση Siemens: Στις 24 Φεβρουαρίου αρχίζει η δίκη". Naftemporiki. 22 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Greece indicts 13 Germans over Siemens bribery scandal". DW. 9 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Courts issue warrants for arrest of Karavelas and Christoforakos". To Vima. 5 February 2014.
  16. ^ "Και τρίτο ευρωπαϊκό ένταλμα σύλληψης". efysn. 6 February 2014.
  17. ^ "Ex-Boss Could Help Shed Light on Corruption". Der Spiegel. 29 June 2009.
  18. ^ "Ελεύθερος ο Χριστοφοράκος". Eleftherotypia. 21 October 2009.
  19. ^ Οι μίζες της siemens
  20. ^ "Former Greek Minister Guilty of Receiving Bribe from Siemens". Greek Reporter. 28 July 2017.
  21. ^ "Υπόθεση Siemens-Πρόταση εισαγγελέα: Να παραπεμφθεί σε δίκη ο Χριστοφοράκος". Reporter.gr. 17 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Prosecutor recommends trial for ex head of Siemens in Greece over OSE contracts in 1999". Greek Observer. 17 October 2017.