By Stefanos Evripidou
GREEK PROSECUTORS yesterday decided that Michalis Michaelides, son of former Cypriot interior minister Dinos Michaelides, will remain detained in Greece until authorities there come to a decision regarding the graft inquiry against former Greek defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.
The son is accused of involvement in the movement of large sums of money acquired from illegal activities, specifically kickbacks allegedly received by Tsohatzopoulos for the purchase of the Russian TOR M1 surface-to-air missile system.
He was extradited to Greece last Thursday after losing an appeal at the Cyprus Supreme Court against his extradition.
His father Dinos became the first Cypriot government or former government official to be extradited last month in connection with the same case and, two weeks ago, was also ordered to remain in detention in Greece.
The father and son were implicated by the cousin of Tsohatsopoulos, Nicos Zigras.
Both Michaelides’ deny any wrongdoing.
During questioning in Athens, Michaelides senior said 5.7 million Swiss Francs found in a Swiss bank account belonging to his son were the product of his son’s business dealings with Fouad Al Zayat, a Syrian-born businessman.
The father added that he was not familiar with what exactly the business dealings pertained to.
In his statement in court which was leaked to the media, the 75-year-old Michaelides said his son Michalis had given him power of attorney over the account in case the son were to die.
The former minister said it was just a coincidence that the account in question had been opened on December 12, 2000, and he was given power of attorney on February 6, 2001 – three days before €2.8 million Swiss Francs were deposited.
Michalis Michaelides spent around seven hours yesterday at the Greek