June 6, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

State Minister and Businessman Found Guilty by Special Court Decision in Licensing Case

The culpability of former SYRIZA Minister of State Nikos Pappas and businessman Christos Kalogritsa of misconduct in the 2016 television license tender case was unanimously found by a special court.

Special Court prosecutor Dimitris Asprogerakas proposed sentencing Nikos Pappas to one year and Christos Kalogritsa to six months. After discussion, the court made a decision for the former minister on a two-year suspended sentence and a fine for the businessman. Nikos Pappas was given the maximum sentence under current law, as it is two years in prison.

In other words, a case that began as a serious crime ended as a petty offense. The decision was announced by the president of the court, Joanna Klappa. Nikos Pappas was found guilty by 13 Supreme Court judges of a misdemeanor offense and the businessman guilty of complicity in the same crime, praising the latter for facilitating the exposure of the case.

Commenting on the court decision, Nikos Pappas stated that “This process was political.” “The decision of the special court is in line with the spirit of the decisions in the NOVARTIS and SIEMENS cases. It seems that for some judges, someone who harms society is considered innocent, and someone whose actions provide money for society is considered guilty. For some, neither the acquittal of Kretsos in the same case, nor the proposal of the prosecutor who liquidated the indictment, have no meaning,” he added.

Pappas noted that it is absolutely clear: “Uhthat lawsuit was political“and carried out “in order to cover up Mitsotakis’ embezzlement of public money, blue bugs and blue locusts.” This lawsuit was carried out because our wealthy fellow citizens paid taxes that were passed and were forced to comply with the constitution. This lawsuit is made to vulgarize our party and prevent the rich from paying again. But this should not be decided by some judges. The Greek people will decide. Which by its mandate will ensure justice everywhere. We have done our duty and will continue to serve the public interest.”.

Earlier, Nikos Pappas, through his lawyers, said that he would not apply for extenuating circumstances, because he does not feel guilty and believes that the decision of the judges is politically motivated: “The defense of Nikos Pappas does not ask for extenuating circumstances. This is due to the fact that the filing of a petition means an indirect recognition of the legal and material correctness of the sentence and, therefore, the guilt of the applicant for extenuating circumstances. Nikos Pappas does not consider and does not feel guilty of a breach of duty, on the contrary, I firmly believe that he fully fulfilled his duty for the benefit of the Greek state and the free information of citizens.”

Christos Kalogritsa asked for extenuating circumstances of legal life, non-degrading reasons, and recognition of his contribution to the cause. However, the judges assessed the evidence differently and delivered a guilty verdict.

Recall that, according to the verdict No. 4/2022, criminal liability was assigned to both defendants for organizing and manipulating the tender for television licenses. The case began after Kalogritsa’s allegations of a “rigged” license tender and his fictitious agreement with CCC.

However, prosecutor Olga Smirli did not find interference from Nikos Pappas and offered to justify him during the summing up. “There was no interference on the part of the minister that could raise the issue of prejudice against Kalogrice. There was no legislative interference. There was no evidence that he did not comply with the conditions of the notice”– said the prosecutor, adding that the then minister was not obliged to ensure the audit of the Kalogritsa company.

With regard to Christos Kalogritsa, the prosecutor noted that “the interest of the accused businessman was to annul the decision of the international arbitration court to pay 3 million euros to CCC by any legal and judicial means. However, there is not a single undeniable evidence or document linking Kalogritsa, Pappas and the SSS.”

He also mentioned the secretary Christos Kalogritsa, EftalIu Diamanti, saying that “It doesn’t seem plausible that she gave evidence and controversy about the movement of money.”

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