Former SYRIZA minister handed two-year sentence

Former SYRIZA minister handed two-year sentence

A special court convicted ex-minister Nikos Pappas to a two-year sentence with a three-year probation period Friday over the handling of a 2016 TV license tender under the former SYRIZA-led government. 

A prosecutor had earlier recommended that Pappas, who served as minister of digital policy, telecommunications and media from November 2016 to July 2019, be handed a one-year sentence.

The court did not follow the recommendation of the prosecutor, who had earlier called for a six-month sentence for businessman Christos Kalogritsas for his role in the auction, and imposed a 5,000-euro fine.

In a statement, Pappas denounced the decision as politically motivated.

Tellingly, through his lawyer, he refused to ask for extenuating circumstances in order not to legitimize the guilty verdict, while he directly challenged the court’s judgment and in a post referred to a “political trial.”

Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou described the verdict as a “hard blow” for opposition chief Alexis Tsipras. He also challenged Tsipras to assume the political responsibility for the decision by removing Pappas from the party ticket as well as ousting him from the party.

Oikonomou personally addressed Tsipras, asking whether he will “assume the political responsibility that is due to him for the deeds and days of his oldest and closest associate.” 

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