ND spokesperson Maria Spyraki, shadow defence minister Vasilis Kikilias, and shadow justice minister Nikos Papadopoulos, gave a news conference today in which they alleged that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is covering up a defense ministry scandal involving the abortive sale of munitions to Saudi Arabia.
The main opposition party is accusing Kammenos of signing a 66 million euro deal to sell munitions (namely 300,000 artillery cartridges) to Saudi Arabia through a middleman named Nikos Papdopoulos, even though Greek law now mandates that such deals must be conducted directly at the inter-state level.
The deal was never concluded, reportedly due to the Saudi side backing out, apparently because they were demanding a state-to-state deal, though many details remain unclear.
What is known is that Saudi military officers claimed they had no acquaintance with Papadopoulos, while Kammenos asserts that he was acting as the legal representative of Saudi Arabia.
Parliament was briefed
The Greek parliament had been briefed about the deal and opposition parties approved it, as long as it is done legally, with an interstate deal and no middlemen.
The current law was intended to curb the exorbitant amounts in kickbacks that arms middlemen received over a period of decades.
The conservative party officials posed a series of questions to government officials regarding the affair.
They demanded that Tsipras answer why he is “covering up an obvious scandal”, and that Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias reveal whether he was aware of Kammenos’ official correspondence with the Greek consul in Saudi Arabia, which confirmed that Papadopoulos did not represent Saudi Arabia.
While Kammenos produced a Saudi power of attorney given to Papadopoulos, ND charges that the document concerns only American MK 82 bombs.
ND says Kammenos was informed on 12 June, 2017 by the Greek consul in Saudi Arabia that the Saudi government stated that they have no idea of Papadopoulos is and that the Saudis were demanding an inter-state deal.
“Today, we are revealing that Papadopoulos represents the Kingdom of Jordan, in order to sell the same weapons. We are asking directly, is Mr. Papadopoulos representing Jordan and Saudi Arabia regarding the same weapons?” Kikilias asked.
New Democracy has asked the Greek Supreme Court Prosecutor to probe the case.