Greek Former Deputy Theodoros Tsoukatos Charged in Siemens Graft Probe

A former Socialist lawmaker has been charged with bribery and money laundering in connection with a corruption investigation involving Siemens AG, Greek court officials said Tuesday.

The charges against Theodoros Tsoukatos, 57, concern a donation of the equivalent of about $700,000 he said he received from the German industrial company in 1999 and paid into the coffers of the then-ruling Pasok party.

Pasok, now the main opposition party, said it has no record of receiving the funds.

Another 10 people — including Tsoukatos' former police guard — face the same charges for allegedly facilitating the cash transfer. All have been summoned to appear before an investigating magistrate Thursday.

Greek officials are probing claims that the Siemens paid state officials bribes to secure contracts for telecoms and security before the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Another nine people have been charged so far, including several former executives at Siemens' Greek branch. All deny wrongdoing.

Tsoukatos was a Socialist lawmaker, and close prime ministerial aide, from 2000-2004.

There have been widespread media reports alleging that both Greece's main parties received cash from Siemens slush funds. But no politicians have been charged.

In May, the governing Conservatives blocked an opposition motion for a parliamentary probe into whether any politicians were involved in either of the deals.

The German company's local branch, Siemens Hellas, said it fully supports the Greek investigation, but cannot comment on it as the investigation is still ongoing.

Siemens AG, which makes products ranging from wind turbines to trams and household appliances, has acknowledged making illegal payments in several countries in years past. It has conducted its own investigation that found dubious payments of more than $1 billion.

The Munich-based company has said it is cooperating in the investigations and has introduced new transparency measures.