NEWS

Ex-minister set to face submarine probe

Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is likely to face a parliamentary investigation into allegations he accepted bribes in a Greek navy deal to purchase four German submarines after PASOK MPs asked for the former Socialist deputy to be probed.

The PASOK deputies? request was backed by main opposition New Democracy, and Tsochatzopoulos, who denies the claims, will have the chance to state his case in Parliament on Thursday before lawmakers vote on whether a committee should investigate allegations of bribery and money laundering.

In their recommendation the PASOK MPs suggest the statute of limitations has not yet expired for Tsochatzopoulos?s alleged offenses. If this is so, the parliamentary committee could indict the former minister to appear before a special court.

Tsochatzopoulos?s successors, Yiannos Papantoniou (PASOK), Spilios Spiliotopoulos and Evangelos Meimarakis (both New Democracy) may also be investigated.

Greece ordered the four Type 214 diesel-electric submarines, manufactured by ThyssenKrupp in Germany, between 2001 and 2005 but the deal, worth 1.26 billion euros, was plagued by complications after Greece rejected the first submarine due to technical problems.

On Friday, parliamentary activity was dominated by a row between PASOK and SYRIZA after ministers accused the leftists of instigating the attack on Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Thursday, when he was pelted by eggs during a visit to a retirement home.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras denied his party had any link to the assailants and accused the government of trying to harm the leftist party?s image.