Greek Parliament Turns Down Opposition Request for Investigative Committee over Defense Minister Wrondoing

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras supported Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, and 151 MPs voted against New Democracy’s request to form a parliamentary committee to investigate him for apparently trying to convince a convict to bear false witness, in a large drug case.

Makis Giannousakis, owner of drug ship Noor 1; who is serving a life sentence, told the prosecutor that Kammenos called him in prison, and asked him to accuse ship owner Vangelis Marinakis of being the trafficker of the two tons of heroine that were found on board the ship.

New Democracy has asked for a parliamentary committee to investigate Giannousakis’ allegations, accusing Kammenos of breaking several articles of the penal code. The Defense Minister; who is protected through parliamentary immunity, claims that he is trying to help the prosecution crack a big drug case.

On Monday evening while addressing a plenary session of parliament, Tsipras said the Kammenos case might boomerang against New Democracy, and that the conservative party’s leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is simply lusting after power.  He continued to accuse Mitsotakis of trying to influence the judiciary.

On his part, Mitsotakis said that Kammenos is corrupt, and being the leader of the junior coalition partner ANEL, is holding Tsipras hostage.  He also called the Prime Minister “weak”.