MPs to debate ND proposal for probe into ex-minister

MPs to debate ND proposal for probe into ex-minister

A proposal by ruling New Democracy for the creation of a special parliamentary committee to investigate possible crimes committed by former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos in connection with the Novartis investigation is to be debated by Parliament’s plenary session on Tuesday.

The debate, which is not expected to be addressed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is to culminate in a vote on the proposal – most likely after midnight – which requires a simple majority of 151 to pass and thus is expected to be approved easily with the backing of government MPs.

According to sources, MPs will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” in a ballot listing the alleged crimes by Papangelopoulos, who is accused of having intervened in the judicial inquiry into a bribery case involving the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis with the aim of incriminating political rivals of the previous SYRIZA government.

Papangelopoulos himself, dubbed “Rasputin” both by politicians implicated in the affair and prosecutors involved in the original probe, is expected to take the stand in Parliament during the debate to defend himself.

After the vote, it is expected that Parliament’s speaker will proceed immediately to the creation of a committee as the aim is to move quickly with the House probe.

The charges the former minister may face include abuse of power, breach of duty and perjury.

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