A former Cyprus government minister was ordered detained by an Athens prosecutor on Thursday in a major graft case that has seen the arrest of former Defence Minister and socialist Pasok leader-in-the-making Akis Tsohatzopoulos.
The Greek minister, who had led a power struggle to head the historic party and become prime minister, is facing corruption charges, together with 19 others, for tax fraud over major defense deals including submarines from Germany and Russian-made TORM1 surface-to-air missiles.
Tsohatzopoulos is alleged to have used a front company, registered in Cyprus by former Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides, a practising corporate lawyer.
The company was used, according to court documents, to conceal cash commissions, while it also appears as the owner of a luxury home in the heart of Athens where Tsohatzopoulos used to live. His wife and daughter have also been implicated in the case.
Michaelides was extradited from Cyprus last week, the first such case of a Cypriot having to appear in an EU court. His son, Michalis, also a lawyer in the family firm, is fighting a second extradition order.
Greek prosecutors said that part of the 10 mln Swiss francs unaccounted for in Tsohatzopoulos's bank transactions ended in accounts administered by Michaelides and his son, according to allegations made by a relative of Tsohatzopoulos.
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