New Democracy and Democratic Alliance (Pasok and Democratic Left) MPs stormed out of a meeting of the parliamentary Institutions and Transparency Committee, charging that the ruling majority is attempting a cover-up of the abortive deal to sell munitions to Saudi Arabia.
Committee chairperson Tasia Christodoulopoulou told opposition MPs that their request to summon the ministers of foreign affairs and defense to testify before the committee is improper because there is an ongoing probe of the affair by the Greek Supreme Court. She said she would seek the opinion of parliament’s bureau of academic experts on the legality of such a summons.
That argument was dismissed by Pasok MP and constitutional law professor Evangelos Venizelos, who said there is no conflict, as the case file must be sent by the judiciary to parliament anyway if ministers are found to be legally culpable.
ND MP Charalampos Athanasiou, and ex-judge and a former justice minister, also said that the judicial probe is no reason not to call those involved, as they would not be testifying as witnesses but rather simply answering questions about what they know.
New Democracy MP Makis Voridis charged that the government misled the parliamentary committee on armaments when it approved the deal, as parliament was not told that the Saudis would be represented by an S.A. company and a private citizen. Greek law mandates government-to-government agreements for the sale or purchase of arms and munitions.