Witness admits to helping former PASOK minister export 2.5 million in cash



A witness in the corruption case against formed PASOK Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou admitted to helping him and his wife export abroad more than 2.5 million in cash.

The witness, a civil engineer, told corruption prosecutors that he had helped Yiannos Papantoniou and his wife Stavroula Kourakou, who were both detained on money laundering charges.

The witness said he was a friend who believed the deposits he was requested to make initially in Greece and then abroad consisted of "legal revenues by Papantoniou" and claimed that "within two years, in 2002 and 2003, I received in installments from Papantoniou totalling of 2.5 million in cash."

He said he would pick up the money "from Papantoniou's home in Kifissia n packs of cash in manila envelopes" and would deposit the money at a bank in the northern suburbs. From there, he alleged, "the money left for Switzerland" in an account bearing Papantoniou’s and his wife’s names.

Papantoniou has denied charges that he laundered 2.8 million euros in kickbacks over a 2003 contract to upgrade six navy frigates when he was Defence Minister.