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High Court looks into arms deal with Saudis

Featured High Court looks into arms deal with Saudis

Corruption Prosecutor Eleni Touloupakis will investigate the terms of the arms deal with Saudi Arabia and whether any criminal offenses have been committed

At the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Defense's handling of the sale of 300,000 105 mm shells from the Greek Army's reserves to Saudi Arabia, following the decision of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, is now coming under scrutiny of the Prosecutor's Office.          

The Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Xeni Demetriou, basing her decision on recent articles that have seen the light of the press, ordered Corruption Prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki to carry out a preliminary investigation into the conditions under which the sale in question took place. Mrs. Demetriou also instructed Mrs Touloupaki to look for criminal liability and, if this is positive, to undertake the necessary procedures. At the same time, Mrs. Demetriou forwarded the relevant press reports to the Prosecutor of Corruption.
The intervention of the Supreme Court Prosecutor in this issue may have a domino effect on the political scene, and it is expected that after the announcement of the prosecution, main opposition New Democracy is expected to tender a relevant memorandum to Mrs. Demetriou.
As became known a few months ago, the Ministry of National Defense began negotiations with Riyadh for the transfer of tank ammunition to Saudi Arabia.
Discussions concern the sale of 300,000 105mm rounds from the Greek Army's reserves to Saudi Arabia, with an estimated value of € 66 million. The material will be used by the Saudi government for the ongoing military operations in Yemen, which have had the effect of displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians.
To complete the commission, the Ministry of Defense signed a transnational agreement with Greek businessman Vasilis Papadopoulos, who appears as a representative of Saudi Arabia. The Transnational Agreement between Greece and Saudi Arabia was signed on 13 June between the General Director of Defense Equipment and Investments and the intermediary Vasilis Papadopoulos at Mikra Airport in Thessaloniki.
Vasilis Papadopoulos argues that he was authorized by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while according to Panos Kammenos, Papadopoulos is not "an intermediary" but a representative of Saudi Arabia
In addition to buying rounds for tanks, the transnational agreement included a provision for a possible sale to Riyadh of MK-82 and MK-83 aerial bombs, as the Saudi Arabian spokesman had set it as a precondition for completing the deal.