Parliament’s Ethics Committee on Tuesday rejected with a majority of seven to five made up of lawmakers from ruling partners SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL) a request for Defense Minister Panos Kammenos to answer to slander accusations.
Kammenos, who is also head of ANEL, is accused by centrist To Potami chief Stavros Theodorakis of making slanderous comments on social media with regards to a debate that took place on November 6 between candidates for the leadership of the Movement for Change center-left coalition.
The committee claimed in its decision on Tuesday that Kammenos made the comments in his capacity as a minister and is therefore not subject to having his immunity from prosecution lifted.
The majority also rejected a request by lawmakers on the committee from Potami, New Democracy and Democratic Alliance for Kammenos to appear before the body and answer questions concerning the incident in person.
Responding to the decision later on Tuesday, Potami MP Giorgos Mavrotas said that it protects the “business of mud-slinging.”
“In Parliament’s Committee of Ethics today we learned that if you are a minister, and specifically Mr Kammenos, you can slander freely on social media in the knowledge that the parliamentary majority will bail you out,” he said.