The Greek Parliament will have to decide whether to lift the parliamentary immunity of Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis as the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office sent to the legislature the file of the judicial probe of whether the minister surreptitiously recorded and leaked to the press his conversation with Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras.
Polakis called Stournaras after it was leaked that the Bank of Greece was probing the legality of the terms of a 100,000 loan that the minister was issued by Attica Bank. The Bank of Greece quickly denied that any probe of Polakis’ loan had been launched.
The transcript of the conversation was published by the pro-government newspaper and news site Documento. In it, Polakis threatened the country’s central banker that he would stage a sit-in in his office if he did not order a probe of other loans take out by other politicians and political parties.
Stournaras told the prosecutor he was certain that Polakis surreptitiously recorded their conversation as the full transcript that was published could not possibly have been based on recollection.
Both Polakis and Documento later denied that the conversation was recorded and transcribed.
By law, prosecutors are obliged to send any case file in which the name of an MP or minister comes up to Parliament, which must then decide whether to lift their immunity so that they can be tried by the judiciary.
Surreptitiously recording a conversation without the interlocutor’s permission is a felony punishable with a jail sentence of up to 10 years.