PASOK and ND want ex-min­is­ter in­dicted

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

In an un­prece­dented move, both rul­ing so­cial­ist PASOK and the main con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion, New Democ­racy, yes­ter­day called for the in­dict­ment of for­mer De­fense Min­is­ter Akis Tsochat­zopou­los, who has been ac­cused of ac­cept­ing bribes in or­der to ap­prove a sub­ma­rine pro­cure­ment deal.

The par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pur­chase of four Ger­man sub­marines by the Hel­lenic Navy a decade ago is­sued a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion for the ex-min­is­ter to be in­dicted on crim­i­nal charges of bribe tak­ing at the ex­pense of the state and money laun­der­ing. The com­mit­tee com­prised mem­bers of all par­ties rep­re­sented in Par­lia­ment apart from the far-right Pop­u­lar Ortho­dox Rally (LAOS). Op­po­si­tion deputies called for Tsochat­zopou­los to be in­dicted on other charges in­clud­ing breach of faith and vi­o­lat­ing state se­crets.

Most MPs on the com­mit­tee also called for the for­mer min­is­ter to be or­dered to pro­vide fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion to the state.

The com­mit­tee sub­mit­ted its re­port to Par­lia­ment, where it is to be pe­rused by the ple­nary session within the next two weeks.

In an in­ter­view with Skai Tele­vi­sion’s “New Fold­ers” pro­gram last night, the ex-min­is­ter once again de­nied any wrong­do­ing, re­buffed al­le­ga­tions link­ing his as­sets to off­shore com­pa­nies and claimed that the par­lia­men­tary in­ves­ti­ga­tion was “full of holes.” Tsochat­zopou­los con­ceded, how­ever, that the sub­ma­rine deal had in­volved “mid­dle­men who took kick­backs.” He re­it­er­ated calls for the par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee prob­ing the af­fair to sum­mon all the mem­bers of the po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary coun­cil that ap­proved the deal, in­clud­ing cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou, who was then for­eign min­is­ter, and for­mer Premier Costas Simi­tis, to give ev­i­dence. Only with their tes­ti­mony will the mat­ter be cleared up, Tsochat­zopou­los main­tained.

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