Parliament com't majority recommends lifting of ex-minister Polakis' immunity

Wednesday, 24 July 2019 20:09
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A majority of members of Parliament's code of ethics committee on Wednesday recommended the lifting of Parliamentary immunity for former alternate health minister Pavlos Polakis, with the plenum to take the final decision on July 31.

Committee members were called on to decide over two indictments forwarded to Parliament by prosecutors, both regarding the outspoken former minister.

The first dealt with allegations that Polakis illegally recorded a private phone conservation with Bank of Greece (BoG) Yannis Stournaras, and then leaked the contents of the call to pro-government media. The second indictment deals with a libel lawsuit filed against Polakis by the president of the sub-union representing employees at the state-run disease prevention center (KEELPO).

Stamatis Poulis, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, was fired as a KEELPO employee during Polakis' tenure, while he ran as a Parliament deputy candidate in the recent July 7 election on New Democracy's ticket, but failed to win election. Polakis was re-elected as a deputy from the Hania (Chania) prefecture in Crete.

Members of main opposition SYRIZA party serving on the committee walked out of the session, charging what they termed as a political "witch-hunt" and unconstitutional actions. The vote was eight in favor of the lifting of the immunity, and two against - one a member of the Communist Party (KKE) and the other by a MP from Yanis Varoufakis' Mera25 party.

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