Supreme Court says four Germans in Siemens case must stand trial

The Greek Supreme Court’s prosecution on Tuesday denied the petitions of four German nationals asking for the withdrawal of an indictment ordering them to stand trial for a Siemens kickbacks case. The petition was lodged by Roland Koch, Reinhard Herbert Siekaczek, Wolfgang Rudolph and Ludwig Anton Heinrich Jasper, who were among the 64 individuals – including 13 Germans – that the Athens Appeals Justices’ Council indicted in March over ‘contract 8002’.

The case concerned an agreement signed between Siemens and the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) for the digitalisation of the Greek company’s call centres. Those facing charges in connection with the case include former Siemens and OTE executives, who stand accused of money laundering, offering and accepting bribes and acting as accomplices in the above acts.

The four had asked that the indictment be withdrawn on the grounds that it was inadequately justified, that they had not been given the public prosecutor’s recommendation translated into German and that there was a violation of the principles of non self-incrimination and res judicata (meaning an issue on which a court has already ruled) since the case took into account past depositions taken in Germany and thus invalidated the process.
Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Haralambos Vourliotis disagreed with this argument, however, finding that the failure to translate the prosecutor’s recommendation into German did not make the process invalid since the counsel of the four had been advised regardings its content. He also disagreed with the claim that the indictment was not fully justified and that the principle of res judicata was violated.