MPs vote to broaden probe of former justice minister


MPs voted on Wednesday to expand the scope of an investigation into Dimitris Papangelopoulos, a minister in the former leftist SYRIZA administration, over his alleged meddling in a judicial investigation into bribery claims linked to Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

A total of 175 members of the 300-seat House backed a proposal by 30 ruling New Democracy MPs for the probe to determine whether former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos should face a range of charges including abuse of power, blackmail and membership of a criminal organization.

The motion passed with votes from ND and the center-left Movement for Change.

One incident – when the ND MP Stavros Kalogiannis cast his ballot without first putting it in an envelope – prompted calls by SYRIZA for the ballot to be annulled. But House Speaker Kostas Tasoulas rejected the demand, noting that the secret nature of the vote had not been compromised.