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Former minister to appear before special court over TV licenses

Former minister to appear before special court over TV licenses

Ex-minister Nikos Pappas will be summoned to appear before a special court that will be convened in the fall over the handling of a 2016 television license tender under the former SYRIZA-led government, the Supreme Court’s Judicial Council decided on Tuesday.

Pappas, who served as minister of digital policy, telecommunications and media from November 2016 to July 2019, will have to answer to charges of dereliction of duty before a panel of judges from the Supreme Court and the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court.

A businessman, Christos Kalogritsas, will also be receiving a summons over claims that he received encouragement from Pappas to take part in the tender for the licenses, as the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition wanted to endorse a pro-government broadcaster that it could influence.

The ex-minister’s immunity from prosecution was lifted by lawmakers in the wake of accusations made by Kalogritsas indicating that Pappas had arranged for him to receive from a large corporation the 3 million euros needed as a downpayment to put himself in the running for a license.

The businessman told the inquiry into the tender that he was willing to face criminal charges if it meant clearing his name and restoring his reputation.
Pappas has denied all charges.