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High court prosecutor recommends trial for former SYRIZA minister Pappas on dereliction of duty charge

Featured High court prosecutor recommends trial for former SYRIZA minister Pappas on dereliction of duty charge

A prosecutor serving on a supreme court judicial council on Friday recommended the referral to trial of former minister Nikos Pappas on a charge of dereliction of duty, related to his actions during a controversial tender in 2016 for nationwide broadcast licenses in Greece.

If justices serving on the judicial council accept high court prosecutor Georgia Adilini’s recommendation, then Pappas, a current elected deputy with the leftist main opposition SYRIZA party, will be referred to a special tribuna, due to his MP’s status.

The prosecutor also recommended a referral to trial, on a charge of complicity in the minister’s alleged dereliction of duty, for businessman Christos Kalogritsas. The latter was instrumental in revealing details of the case that eventually led to a Parliamentary committee of inquiry – approved by a majority of vote Parliament MPs – and a subsequent judicial investigation.
A decision on whether an indictment will lead to a trial now hinges with members of the judicial council, all of whom are supreme court justices.

The controversial Kalogritsas has charged that a contract with the Athens-based and Lebanese owned CCC construction multinational for the building of a shopping mall in the United Arab Emirates was a mere ploy in order to funnel money – loaned by CCC – towards a Kalogritsas-owned company for use in bidding for a television license.

Kalogritsas also claimed that he received the borrowed money and attempted to enter the tender process at the behest of Pappas, at the time the relevant minister overseeing the entire licensing process.

The 75-year-old Kalogritsas has publicly, including before the Parliament committee probe, charged that Pappas, a leading minister of the SYRIZA government led by Alexis Tsipras from 2015 to 2019, brought all the interested parties together and coordinated their moves.

The idea, or so Kalogritsas claims, was to win one of four nationwide broadcast licenses and then set up a television station that would give the embattled SYRIZA government favorable airtime, but would be critical of the political opposition, especially the then main opposition party, current ruling New Democracy.