MPs shy at proposal to change immunity vote

Most opposition parties yesterday rejected proposals by the Parliament speaker which were intended to shame deputies into showing less leniency for their colleagues when it came to lifting their parliamentary immunity. The longstanding practice of granting deputies immunity from prosecution for non-political charges came under heavy criticism after the House refused last Tuesday to lift the immunity of an MP whom a prosecutor wanted to charge with «murder with possible intent» over an Athens boy’s death in a building toppled by the 1999 earthquake. New Democracy MP Athanassios Katsiyiannis had been the supervising engineer during the building’s construction. Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis had suggested that votes on matters of immunity should cease to be secret. But ND and the Communist Party yesterday said this would be improper. Only Synaspismos Left Coalition agreed.

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