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Two former SYRIZA ministers to face justice for TV licenses, Novartis scandal

Two former SYRIZA ministers and three prosecutors will face justice for two separate cases in connection with the TV licenses and the Novartis scandal, respectively.

Ex minister for Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media, Nikos Pappas, will be summoned to appear before a special court that will be convened in the fall over the handling of a 2016 television license tender, the Supreme Court’s Judicial Council decided on Tuesday.

Charges of dereliction of duty are based on accusations by a businessman who claimed that he was encouraged by the ex minister to take part in the licenses tender because the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition government (2015-2019) wanted to endorse a pro-government broadcaster that it could influence.

The businessman had further indicated that Pappas had arranged for him to receive from a large corporation the 3 million euros needed as a down-payment to put himself in the running for a license.

The businessman told the inquiry into the tender that he was willing to face criminal charges if it meant clearing his name and restoring his reputation.

Pappas has denied all charges.

The charges are a misdemeanor.

In a parallel development also on Tuesday, a deputy prosecutor recommended in a report that former deputy justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos in SYRIZA coalition government and three prosecutors should be tried by a special tribunal in connection with the handling of the Novartis affair.

In her recommendations to the Judicial Council, the prosecutor argued that there is evidence to suggest that the former minister and the three judicial officials abused their power and acted in way that supports charges of a conspiracy.

One of the judicial officials is the prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki who compiled the case file on 10 prominent Greek politicians.

According to daily efsyn, the prosecutor also recommended that publisher Ioannis Filippakis and journalists Costas Vaxevanis, Gianna Papadakous and Alexandros Tarkas are cleared of all charges.

In an angry statement main opposition party SYRIZA accused ruling New Democracy the government of “intrumentalizing Justice”, stressing that “they stage a special court for an alleged misdemeanor.”

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