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Heavy sentences for defendants in the SONAK military procurement scandal

Heavy penalties were imposed by the Criminal Appeals Tribunal on the 17 defendants involved in the Sonak electronic system contract, including  businessman Thomas Liakounakos and co-accused former members of the Ministry of National Defense.

The procurement of the electronic system for the army was considered to have damaged the Greek state to the tune of tens of millions of euros, with the court ruling that all defendants are guilty. The chief prosecutor expressed the opposite view in his proposal.

In particular, the court has imposed:

A 16-year suspended sentence for Thomas Liakounakos and Elias Arkoumaneas, former owner and senior executive of Sonak, respectively.
A 16-year suspended sentence, for former General Secretaries of Procurement, Giorgos Kolliris and Evangelos Vassilakos.
10-year suspended sentence, for all other indictees, namely: Kantas (former Deputy General Manager of Equipments), Arvanitaki, Vlachos, Hatzinakis, Petropoulos, Antonakopoulos, Delatolas, Koulouras, Leontaritis, Heraklides, Doumas, Klaras, Patsiouras.

All defendants are free to go until their appeal but they have been banned from leaving the country.

The court awarded the State damages amounting to 48,408,000 euros as well as moral damages from Liakounakos, Arkoumaneas, Kolliris and Vassilakos, amounting to 100,000 euros each. Similarly, 50,000 was levied on the rest.

The case involved a purchase by the Ministry of Defense of an electronic war simulation training system that cost 40 million euros. The ministry had paid 34.5 million euros to the company before finding out in 2001 that the system failed to deliver results.