Parliament was on Wednesday voting to indict former leftist alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos on charges that he sought to influence the course of the Novartis bribery investigation.
The vote followed the completion last week of a Parliamentary probe into his alleged interventions in the Novartis affair, which implicated prominent conservative politicians. He specifically faces eight charges, including accepting bribes, attempted extortion, forming a criminal organization and morally instigating abuse of power.
The latter charge relates to Papangelopoulos’ alleged influence over top corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki during his stint as minister. Touloupaki herself faces charges of abuse of power in connection to her investigation into the case.
Tension was palpable during the debate, with SYRIZA lawmakers storming out of Parliament before the vote, charging that it was an attempt by the government to exterminate its political opponents. “We will not legitimize… the miserable political extermination of rivals. We leave you to enjoy it on your own,” said SYRIZA’s parliamentary spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.