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German court blocks Siemens exec extradition

A German court said Wednesday it has blocked a former Siemens AG executive's extradition to Greece to face charges in a corruption case centering on a security contract for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A German court said Wednesday it has blocked a former Siemens AG executive's extradition to Greece to face charges in a corruption case centering on a security contract for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Michael Christoforakos, who was arrested in Germany on a Greek-issued warrant in June, can't be extradited because the alleged offense falls under the statute of limitations under German law, the Bamberg state court said.

Christoforakos headed the Greek branch of Munich-based industrial conglomerate Siemens AG from 1996 to 2007. He is accused of fraud in Greece; his lawyers say he is innocent.

The case centers on allegations of corruption in the awarding of a security contract for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

The C4I communications system was designed to link Greek security forces during the Olympics. The deal was awarded in May 2003 to San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC, the leader of a security consortium that included Siemens.

Christoforakos, who holds both Greek and German citizenship, was one of seven former Siemens executives targeted in an investigation by Greek prosecutors.

The Bamberg court said it made its ruling Tuesday. It was handed the case after Germany's highest court upheld an appeal by Christoforakos against an earlier decision by judges in Munich to approve his extradition.