NEWS

Panel summons Panousis as suit is filed by ministers

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Parliament’s Institutions and Transparency Committee on Wednesday summoned former citizens’ protection minister Yiannis Panousis to explain next Wednesday his allegations that he was threatened by SYRIZA officials with ties to terrorists.

It remained unclear on Wednesday whether the head of the National Intelligence Service (EYP), Yiannis Roubatis, will also be summoned by the panel after Panousis submitted evidence to Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani that is said to include telephone conversations that were wiretapped by EYP.

The head of the committee, Tasia Christodoulopoulou, suggested there was no point in calling Roubatis yet. “We’ll summon him to ask him what? If he was monitoring?”

Meanwhile, following a decision by Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos and Alternate Minister for Citizens’ Protection Nikos Toskas to take legal action against persons unknown for leaking state documents, opposition MPs called for the two ministers to face the same parliamentary committee.

Late on Wednesday afternoon, Toskas indicated that he did not intend to say anything about the matter while the case is in the hands of the judiciary.

Speaking to reporters after filing the suit, Paraskevopoulos said, “The transcripts of conversations are being published but we have no idea what’s true and what’s not true.” He and Toskas said they asked the Supreme Court prosecutor to check the authenticity of the material submitted by Panousis and whether it would be acceptable in court.

According to sources, the two ministers also asked the prosecutor to determine whether certain media should face charges for disseminating extracts from purported conversations between Paraskevopoulos’s former adviser, Panos Lambrou, and jailed members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire guerrilla group.

Lambrou, who is now a member of a group that works to boost health services in prisons, testified during the November 17 trial as a defense witness for Iraklis Kostaris.

In a statement last night, Panousis questioned the government’s response to the affair, noting that authorities had originally urged him to take his claims to the judiciary, after they appeared in the media, but then responded by taking legal action themselves. In his strongly worded statement, Panousis said: “I warned the prime minister, either he gets rid of his close circle of the ‘leftists of nothing’ or he goes down with them.”