An Athens prosecutor has launched an investigation into the recording of a conversation presented to Parliament this week by prominent Greek-Israeli businessman Sabby Mionis which appears to suggest that former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos, of the previous SYRIZA government, was involved in shady dealings.
The head of the Athens prosecutor’s office, Evangelos Ioannidis, has already passed on the recording, made in May 2016, to prosecutor Konstantinos Spyropoulos, who will undertake the investigation.
Mionis submitted the recording of his conversation with Nikos Pappas, a minister of state for the SYRIZA administration, on Monday to a parliamentary committee investigating Papangelopoulos over his handling of a case involving Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis.
Pappas is apparently heard during the conversation saying that Papangelopoulos was known for having his “own agenda” and “making a lot of money” from backroom deals.
The claims made in the conversation by Pappas also contradict earlier testimony he gave to the parliamentary committee in the initial phase of its probe into whether Papangelopoulos had used the Novartis case to target 10 political opponents of the SYRIZA government – including a former conservative premier and ministers.
A copy of Pappas’ testimony has also been sent to the prosecutor’s office.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Mionis’ lawyer rejected claims by Pappas that the audio file had been tampered with.
Mionis’ lawyer also said that he welcomed any official assessment of the material to verify that the recording is authentic and intact.
Pappas on Tuesday accused Mionis of editing the recording to incriminate him and Papangelopoulos, noting that the comments cited in their conversation referred to former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras and not the former alternate justice minister.