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  • Defense minister testifies before parliament

    Defense Minister Panos Kammenos was summoned to testify today before a closed session of the parliamentary committee on armaments regarding the notorious, abortive munitions sale to Saudi Arabia.

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team

    Defense Minister Panos Kammenos was summoned to testify today before a closed session of the parliamentary committee on armaments regarding the notorious, abortive munitions sale to Saudi Arabia.

    The case involved a 66 million euro munitions deal – 300,000 shells – in which a middleman was involved, despite the fact that Greek law mandates direct, government-to-government sales and purchases of arms and munitions.

    Kammenos has said that the middleman, named Vasilis Papadopoulos, was designated by the Saudi kingdom as its representative with a power of attorney, while the Greek Embassy in Riyadh had informed the Greek foreign ministry that the Saudis said they were unfamiliar with Papadopoulos.

    The committee on armaments was convened after the request of Syriza MP and former education minister Nikos Filis.

    In an impassioned speech, when the issue was discussed in a plenary session of parliament, Filis demanded cancellation of the deal on humanitarian grounds, because the Saudis are involved in the slaughter of civilans in the civil war in Yemen.

    Filis cited the European Parliament’s call for an embargo of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

    Main opposition New Democracy is demanding a broad investigation into the affair, including the question of why Greece’s Governmental Council of Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA), which is chaired by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, in February had approved the sale of 30,000 shells, while the Saudis were interested in purchasing only 100,000.

    The KYSEA is the sole competent organ to issue final approval for arms purchases and sales.

    International