Convicted Greek former defense minister allowed out on bail

A court in Greece is allowing a former defense minister serving time for corruption to be released from prison early because of poor health.

A panel of judges ruled 3-2 Wednesday in favor of freeing Akis Tsochadzopoulos on condition that he pays 200,000 euros ($213,000) in bail and does not leave Greece or travel by sea or air.

The 78-year-old Tsochadzopoulos spent a year in pretrial detention before he received a 20-year sentence in 2013 for laundering money he received in bribes for military procurement contracts.

He denied doing anything improper or illegal with the contracts issued in the late 1990s.

Tsochadzopoulos was hospitalized last month for heart problems and is recuperating from heart surgery at an Athens hospital.

His lawyers say he cannot raise the bail money.