Parliament’s plenary session on Friday decided to indict ex-Defense Minister, Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who has been accused of accepting bribes in order to approve a submarine procurement deal. A total of 242 MPs were present for the vote; 36 ballots were valid, six void and four blank votes were cast. Two-hundred and sixteen MPs voted in favour of Tsohatzopoulos being tried for passive bribery; nine voted against and seven voted “present”, while 215 MPs voted in favour of Tsohatzopoulos being tried for money-laundering; nine against and eight voted “present”.
A judicial council comprised of five Supreme Court judges will be chosen by lots to decide whether the offences with which Tsohatzopoulos is charged fall under the statute of limitations, or if they will be tried separately and if he will be brought before a tribunal or a regular court.
Defending himself in a speech before Parliament earlier on Friday, Tsohatzopoulos declared that he is innocent, and referring to his “former comrades”, he said that their efforts to make him a “convenient culprit” will fail.
Referring to the parliamentary examination committee decision that he should be tried in court for criminal offences based on the findings of the submarine case investigation, Tsohatzopoulos said that the committee findings are a “monumental falsification of truth”.
Tsohatzopoulos also said that he “will resort to the European Court of Human Rights to prove that he is politically persecuted.” He lashed out at the ruling Pasok party maintaining that “It is not my party that is indicting me, this is not PASOK.” He claimed that the party had changed under Prime Minister George Papandreou and no longer represented him as it had done when Papandreou’s father, Andreas, was prime minister.