The head of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Athens First Instance Court Court has launched an investigation into the leakage of information with regards to the latest distribution of “secret funds” by the Foreign Ministry.
A day after the resignation of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, a news website published information from a confidential report the Ministry had submitted to the Parliament regarding expenditure of the “secret funds.” The Foreign Ministry is the only one that sends a report to the Palriament when expenditure of the “secret funds” is over 25,000 euros.
The state security department has been reportedly assigned with the investigation aiming to ascertain whether possible acts have been committed that are automatically prosecuted.
Investigated is not the distribution of funds but how the ‘confidential document with sensitive informatio’ was leaked to the press.
The article contained information that was delivered to the Parliament in a sealed envelope by an employee of the Greek Foreign Ministry. The enveloped was opened at the office of the Parliament Speaker.
According to state broadcaster ERT, the confidential document is seen by the Parliament Speaker and the deputy speakers. No minutes are being recorder, however, the officials are allowed to take notices. “The deputy speakers who are form different political parties normally brief the party leaders about the content,” ERT reported.
Investigation will focus among others on the leakage of “state secrets” to the press, which is a felony and is automatically prosecuted.
The publication drew the anger of the Greek Prime Minister with his office issuing a statement saying among others that the alleged information directly damages the country’s interests and undermines Greece’s foreign policy.
The statement accused main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for “raising the issue of the secret funds, even through leaks to the press.”
The Prime Minister called on Mitsotakis to be briefed by Tsipras “if he wanted to be briefed on the secret funds” and to “stop undermining the foreign policy of the country.”
Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis spoke of “alleged secret expenditure by the Foreign Ministry.”
New Democracy has been also calling on Alexis Tsipras to publish the 9-page resignation letter of Nikos Kotzias.
During a press conference in Brussels at the side of the EU Summit, Tsipras told media that the letter is addressed to him with the note “strictly personnel.”
“I am not going to publish a strictly personnel letter, “he said.
Kotzias’ resignation has stirred the Greek political landscape and many cannot understand, how Tsipras let the architect of the Prespes Agreement go for the sake of Agreement opponent Defense Minister Panos Kammenos.
Background on Kotzias’ resignation here.