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Greece Probes Suspected Industrial Espionage in Aircraft Deals

The Greek military is prosecuting an Air Force flight lieutenant suspected of leaking classified information on planned aircraft purchases to industry contractors, the Greek Air Force said May 17.

Charged with leaking military information, the flight lieutenant was handed a one-year suspension last week pending an investigation, a source in the Greek Air Force general staff told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Head Athens prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos on May 16 opened a separate investigation into the possible collusion of civilians in the affair, a judicial source told AFP May 17.

According to the Greek tabloid weekly Sto Karfi, which first broke the story, the leaked information involved planned orders for F-16 and Eurofighter aircraft.

The flight lieutenant, who was posted to the general staff and has been identified only by his surname, Fournarakis, was reportedly betrayed by a PC memory stick found to contain classified information.

The officer, 33 years old according to the Greek daily Ta Nea, is believed to have been in contact with Greek and foreign defense contractors.

The conservative government in April said it would re-examine the Eurofighter order, involving 60 aircraft, originally put forward by its socialist predecessors.


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