ATHENS – Areti Tsochatzopoulou, daughter of former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, was expected to be released from prison on humanitarian grounds as the mother of three children, one of whom needs surgery.
She has been in jail for 2 1/2 years after being sentenced to 12 years in prison for her role in laundering millions of euros in kickbacks received by her father during his tenure as defense minister. He’s serving a 20-year sentence.
The prosecutor recommended the release after she produced documents supporting her position that one of her three children needed an operation and her attention. She was ordered not to leave the country and appear at a police precinct at regular intervals.
The court, however, rejected a fourth appeal for early release by Vicky Stamati, Tsochatzopoulos’s wife, who is also serving a 12-year prison sentence in the same case. She said she, too, should be released because she’s a mother.
Tsochatzopoulos’ family was involved in a massive scheme to steal hundreds of millions of euros from defense contracts, a ring that extended to many of his associates.