Former defence ministry official lists kickbacks history
ANA-MPA -- Former defence ministry official Antonis Kantas, who served as alternate director for armaments purchases, wrapped up his four-day testimony before Magistrate for Corruption Gavriil Mallis on Friday.
Kantas, who was remanded in custody on December 18, had been arrested on a money-laundering charges linked into illegal payments from defence ministry armament programmes traced to a Singapore bank account.
In his testimony, which is 30 typewritten pages long, Kantas is said to have named 17 individuals related to illegal funds around procurements of the ministry over several years; they include politicians and well-known businessmen.
According to sources, Kantas allegedly said that for Russian armaments he received a "very generous" kickback of 3 percent on the total value of the purchase, when kickbacks were usually set at 0.5 or at most 1 percent.
In reviewing all the amounts he remembers receiving in euros or dollars, Kantas listed an array of payments he received over the years, according to sources, that go as far as 1989. For example, he allegedly got half a million to 600,000 euros from submarine contracts; about 1.5 million euros from the antiaircraft missile Stinger Asrad targeting and control systems; about 3 million dollars from the antiarmament rockets Kornet - 700,000 of which were in cash and of these, half a million were turned over to two bankers to deposit overseas; about 1.7 million dollars from the antiaircraft short-range missile system OSA AMK; 800,000 from Mirage 200-5 aircraft; and so on.
Kantas is said to have named former ministers Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Yiannos Papantoniou in his testimony, along with the 83-year-old representative of German-based STN Atlas company, who he claimed bribed him for contracts with 1.5 million euros; the man is scheduled to testify before prosecutors on January 2.
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