Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, on Thursday, said that he has decided to give access to members of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Foreign Affaira to secret defense ministry documents concerning the case of ammunition sales to Saudi Arabia.
Kammenos stressed "I am declassifying whatever the prosecutor looks at and requests". Panos Kammenos made his decision public through twitter.
"Members [of the committee] can not act as stewards of confidential documents and jeopardize national interests. There are legal responsibilities that someone must account for," Deputy Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos said on 24/7 radio, referring to the tendering of classified documents concerning the agreement between Greece and Saudi Arabia, in Parliament, by Andreas Loverdos.
Mr. Katrougalos wondered how Mr. Loverdos had access to secret documents and added that "what we recenty saw, in Parliament, was parliamentary theater in which the protagonist is superficiality."
Andreas Loverdos's move to tender classified documents and practical decisions of the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and Defense in Paliament in view of the discussion about Panos Kammenos and the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, as it became known when MP Andreas Loverdos tendered the papers to Parliament, Vice-President Nikitas Kaklamanis refused to receive them, and put them in a file which he sealed.
Yesterday the Conference of Presidents of the House decided that the file should be handed over to the cabinet secretary saying that no leaks would not come from the parliament.
Speaking to parliamentary reporters, the Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said: "There was a predisposition in some respects for today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday) to be clouded over with a mesh of illegitimate debate over confidental papers.
Documents submitted yesterday by Mr. Loverdos went into a special guarded area of the House no one handled them and no one saw them. They also related to tomorrow's debate and discussion that will take place on Monday. The documents are confidential and as everyone is aware, not least of all constitutional law professors [referring to Loverdos specifically] and politicians who have been in this building for many years, that at least 30 years have to pass before documents concerning ministerial, cabinet and collective government dialogues, namely KYSEA and others, can be declassified.
On this issue, no side disagreed with my suggestion. The House has never been debating and declassifying and distributing to party leaders such confidential documents.
All this led me to the suggestion, to which no side disagreed, to hand over, with my authorization, all these documents to the source they concern, namely the general secretary of the government who is legally responsible. These documents do not concern the House, but the ministers who participated in the KYSEA and the cabinet."
Mr. Voutsis also insinuated that if the documents were leaked while in Parliament, this would be attributed to the lax way the House operates dealing a blow to the status of the House as an institution, and the move to safeguard the documents prevented any chance of such an event.
On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry warned of incarcaration for anyone publishiing classified documents, essentially meaning Andreas Loverdos.
In the meantime, Mr. Tsipras made a surprise move asking for a postponement of the discussion, through a letter to the President of Parliament, so he could attend the parliamentary debate, as he is in Paris to receive an award, and will French president Macron on Friday.
The opposition had implicitly criticized him for wanting to be absent from the discussion because he did not want to be identified with Mr Kammenos.