Greece’s parliament voted late Wednesday to charge former deputy justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos over allegations he sought to incriminate political opponents during an investigation into the Novartis scandal.
A total 177 out of 300 lawmakers from governing New Democracy and centrist Movement for Change (KINAL) voted to bring charges against Papangelopoulos that include 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.
The former minister, who denies any wrongdoing, is expected to face a special court composed of senior judges.
The vote followed the completion last week of a Parliamentary probe into his alleged interventions in the Novartis affair, which implicated prominent conservative politicians.
In 2018, when the Syriza government that Papangelopoulos served in was in power, Parliament ordered an investigation into ten senior opposition officials, including former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras and the current governor of Greece’s central bank, Yannis Stournaras.
The subsequent probe found insufficient evidence to support their indictment.
All ten officials denied wrongdoing, accusing the left-wing party that is now in opposition of trying to smear them and to subvert the course of justice.