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Greece court finds former defense minister guilty of corruption

A Greek court on Monday found former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos [NYT backgrounder] guilty of money laundering. The court also rendered guilty verdicts [AP report] against 16 of Tsochatzopoulos's co-defendants, including his wife, ex-wife and daughter. The charges against Tsochatzopoulos stem from his issuance of defense contracts in exchange for bribes [BBC report] during his tenure as defense minister from 1996 to 2001. Tsochatzopoulos has been serving prison time for nearly a year-and-a-half for falsifying his income taxes. The court is expected to issue a sentence on Tuesday.

Greece [JURIST news archive] has experienced continuous turmoil during its ongoing financial crisis. In May a UN expert warned that Greece's bailout measures compromise human rights [JURIST report]. In January Greece's parliament approved [JURIST report] new tax legislation to allow it to pay back its loans. Last October the Council of Europe [official website] found [JURIST report] that two labor reforms adopted by Greece as part of wider efforts to curb the nation's financial crises were illegal. The Council's non-binding ruling [Reuters report] concerned two measures passed by the Greek .government in 2010 at the urging of the country's international creditors. In February 2012 the Greek parliament approved [JURIST report] austerity measures securing a second bailout for the country to avoid bankruptcy amidst rioting and violence in downtown Athens.

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