Greek court finds former minister guilty of breach of duty in TV licences case

Nikos Pappas

A Greek court ruled on Friday that a leftist lawmaker, the closest aide of former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, was guilty of breach of duty for his role in a 2016 television licences tender, the semi-state Athens News Agency said.

A 13-member special court handed Nikos Pappas a suspended two-year prison sentence over his handling of the tender, which broadcasters at the time had slammed as an attempt to control media during the country's debt crisis.

Pappas, who served as minister of media and telecommunications in 2015-2019 in the former government led by the leftist Syriza party, has denied any wrongdoing and said the trial was politically motivated.

Greece is gearing for elections in the coming months, most likely in early April, and opinion polls show the ruling conservatives leading over the leftists.

    Following the verdict on Friday, Pappas said his Syriza party was being picked on ahead of the vote.

"This trial was held to harm our party and prevent rich people from paying, again," he said in a statement on his Twitter account.

    In a separate statement, Syriza said that "Greek people will judge if the court decision was fair".

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024