Minister clears Venizelos of any wrongdoing

Defense Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos assured MPs on Friday that PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos (photo) did not take any sensitive military documents with him when he left his post at the Defense Ministry in June 2011.

SYRIZA demanded an investigation after Venizelos revealed last week that he had taken copies of some papers home. He said it was normal for ministers to keep some documents when they leave ministries, after SYRIZA criticized him for keeping a copy of the Lagarde list of Greeks with deposits at a Swiss branch of HSBC after leaving the Finance Ministry.

“When I heard what he said, I contacted him and, based on what he told me, as well as the minutes of the parliamentary debate and a probe I carried out, I came to the conclusion that there is no problem,” Panayiotopoulos said.

SYRIZA MP Theodoros Dritsas responded by saying he was not questioning whether any national secrets were in danger but Venizelos’s “perception of ownership” with regard to the documents and the memory stick containing the Lagarde list.