March 1, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Two former SYRIZA ministers to face trial over TV licenses and Novartis scandal

Two former SYRIZA ministers and three prosecutors will stand trial in two separate cases related to television licenses and the Novartis scandal, respectively.

Former Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Nikos Pappas will be subpoenaed by a special court to be convened in the fall to consider a tender for a 2016 television license, the Supreme Court’s Judicial Council decided on Tuesday.

The dereliction of duty allegations are based on allegations by a businessman who claimed that the former minister pushed him to enter the license tender because the SYRIZA-Independent Greece (2015-2019) coalition government wanted to support the pro-government broadcaster.

The businessman also indicated that Pappas arranged for him to receive 3 million euros from a large corporation, necessary as a down payment, so that he could participate in the struggle for a license.

The businessman said during the investigation of the tender that he was ready to stand trial if it would mean clearing his name and restoring his reputation. Pappas denied all allegations.

In parallel, on Tuesday, the deputy prosecutor recommended in a report that former deputy justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos in the SYRIZA coalition government and three prosecutors face a special tribunal in connection with the Novartis case.

In her recommendations to the Judicial Council, the prosecutor argued that there was evidence that the former minister and three judicial officials had abused their powers and acted in a way that confirmed conspiracy charges. One of the court officials is prosecutor Eleni Tulupaki, who compiled a dossier on 10 prominent Greek politicians.

According to daily efsynthe prosecutor also recommended that all charges against publisher Ioannis Philippakis and journalists Kostas Vaksevanis, Gianna Papadakus and Alexandros Tarkas be dropped.

In an angry statement, the main opposition party SYRIZA accused the ruling New Democracy of “instrumentalization of justice”, stressing that “they are organizing a special trial for an alleged offense.”
In 2018, during the reign of SYRIZA, criminal cases were opened in the Novartis case against 10 leaders of the New Democracy party.
Among those suspected of involvement in corruption were former prime ministers Antonis Samaras (2012-2015) and Panagiotis Picrammenos (prime minister of the service government in May-June 2012), former ministers Yiannis Sturnaras (now head of the Bank of Greece), Dimitris Avramopoulos (now European Commissioner for Migration and Internal Affairs), Adonis Georgiadis, Evangelos Venizelos (former Deputy Prime Minister – Foreign Minister, former Minister of Finance, Defense, Culture, Justice), Andreas Likurentzos, Marios Salmas, Andreas Loverdos, Yorgos Koutrumanis.

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