Former defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos will have recourse to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the Greek Parliament's decision to make him stand trial on charges of bribery and money-laundering , his attorneys announced in a press conference on Wednesday.
The Greek Parliament’s plenary session decided in a secret ballot earlier in the month that the former PASOK minister should face charges of accepting bribes and money-laundering. The MPs accepted the findings of a preliminary examination committee that investigated the German submarine case, focusing on whether Tsohatzopoulos had received kickbacks in order to back a controversial contract for the purchase of four German submarines for the Hellenic Navy while he was defence minister.
According to his lawyers, Tsohatzopoulos sought recourse to the ECHR on the grounds that the presumption of innocence was violated in his case by statements made by two members of the special parliamentary committee -- MPs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Argyris Dinopoulos -- before its findings were issued.
An ECHR ruling on Tsohatzopoulos’ recourse is expected in roughly two years, according to his attorneys.