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A former minister confessed to have taken 200 000 marks from Siemens

27 May 2010 / 16:05:48  GRReporter
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Former Minister admitted that he took  bribes in the amount of 200,000 marks from Siemens under the form of a subsidy for his campaign. Money was invested in November 1998 in a Swiss bank under the code name "A. Rokos".

The confession of former Transport Minister Tassos Mandelis and Communications, whio was a member of the government of Costas Simitis, blew up the country's political stage. The account in the Swiss bank, where money is invested, and opened by the best man of the the former Ministe under his orders with the excuse that "money from political supporters who live abroad will be invested."

This is about the first official confession of the receipt of money "under the table" by a senior politician in Greece. Mr. Mandelis said that this is not about a bribe, but for a "common practice among politicians in the country". "At the end of October 1998 an employee of Siemens, called me and told me in English "we want to help you on your election campaign." "How much are you talking avout?" I asked him and he replied "as much as we usually give out" told Mr. Mandelis before a parliamentary committee that deals with the disclosure of the Siemens scandal.

Former PASOK employee, who gave quite contradictory testimony, said he knew nothing about the second amount which was put into the bank account a year and a half later. For the amount of 250,000 marks invested in February 2000 the former Minister said "that the money from the account have not gone to PASOK." Provocative was also his statement "justice must discover who is the importer of money to tell it also to me".

The former minister said the money received from the first installment was "subsidy" on the part of Siemens, which is interpreted as an attempt to avoid charges of bribery and money laundering, hoping to soften the accusation in violation of the conditions for election expenses. Mr. Mandelis said he doesn’t know who has lodged the second ammount of 250,000 marks apparently because he wants to avoid accusations of a repeat offense, reported the Greek press.

Money was drawn from the Swiss account three times as Mr. Mandelis said - twice on behalf of H.M. (son of the former Prime Minister) and once the amount of 35,000 euro for the payment of Columbia University, in which his son was studying. According to the best man of former Prime Minister, "the remaining 163,000 euro he transferred on his own initiative in 2007 - following the discovery of the Siemens scandal for a bribery of Greek politicians in an account, which he opened at Alpha Bank ».

Earlier Mr. Mandelis is justified that when money was put in his bank account, he had already collected the amount needed for his election campaign, and therefore it was not necessary to use it for this purpose. According to members of the parliamentary commission there is still no result from the investigation of another account in the name of the Rokos in the Swiss Bank Dresner with 850,000 euro, as well as of a third account in Switzerland under the same code name, in which it is not yet known how much money there is.

A parliament member from the opposition coalition SIRIZA said that "the 100 million euro which Siemens claims they have paid for bribes of politicians in Greece, we have currently found 500,000 euro to Tsukatos and 225,000 euro to Mandelis. I.e. 0.7%. We are looking for the remaining 99.3 percent from bribes. "

It should be noted that according to the most recent tax form for his property, which Tassos Mandelis has filed, he and his wife have 26 real estate properties in the area of Attica and the island Kefalonya. It appears that the former Minister has received in 2001 40% of an area with total size of 132.5 square meters on the central Athens Blvd Patision and in the period between 1998-2000, his wife gets different percentages of ownership of several properties in Athens. When it comes to the present nature of the relationship, of Mr. Mandelis with Siemens, his son works in the company's offices in Cyprus and his daughter works for the Greek OTE, which has German interests.

Tags: NewsPoliticsScandalSiemensBribes
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