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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Defence Minister Panos Kammenos’ speech at the parliament during a discussion on a current interpellation by the New Democracy party

“Ladies and Gentlemen,

during the past days, unbelievable stories have been heard in the Parliament and on two radio stations, and have been written in seven newspapers. However, the story ends here, gentlemen of the New Democracy party, this tale of lies, calumny and mudslinging which reaches the limits of national betrayal.

For over a month, you have personally undertaken this task, along with the alleged journalists, the servants of a gang of drug dealing suspects and weapons intermediaries, as they are afraid of losing their job.

It is all a proof that the New Democracy’s strategy has reached a dead end, since political refugees and ineffectual heads of political groupuscules have taken leading positions within New Democracy; the difference among the speakers was obvious today.

I will deal with some of them –Nazi books and vests sellers– in the context of Justice, because they open their mouth and say unbelievable things.

You present a completely legal interstate agreement for the sale of ammunition, as corrupted. It is an interstate agreement, without intermediaries. The money that will leave, or would leave, Saudi Arabia from a Finance Ministry account would enter a Greek Finance Ministry account. No intermediaries, no mediators.

Obviously, you are accustomed of your own corrupted policies. This time, the weapons sale – because it is a sale, not a purchase, and it is the first time I have heard of corruption at a sale – is completely legal and clear.

You never asked the Ministry for clarifications. All your questions were answered. Why didn’t you ask for the Armaments Committee to convene, when I was begging you to do so? Only because you wanted to create a scandal, which came after London, which came after the drug dealer, whose testify we will hear and see where this case has gone to. You have transformed the New Democracy party to the supporting arm of Ms. Bakoyiannis’ best man.

Ladies and Gentlemen,  

this case is rather simple. An offer was made, at five times their purchase price, for the sale of obsolete ammunition – which we would have to pay in order to destroy in a few years – and we accepted it.

As Minister, I chose to bring 66 million to the public funds and reinforce the Ministry’s and the General Staffs’ budget. I even went beyond the classic procedures. We changed the law. We brought a new law to the Parliament, and to the Governmental Council on Foreign Policy and National Defence, and then again to the Parliament, and to the Governmental Council on Foreign Policy and National Defence; as far as the Ministry of National Defence is concerned, there are no secret documents. You have been granted access to all classified documents.

Some people do not want the Ministers to make decisions. The entire complaint was based on an announcement by Mr. Loverdos, concerning a supposed report made by some Brigadier General. There is no report; no Brigadier General made any reports.

The Brigadier General was called to answer to the Chief of Hellenic Army General Staff. What did he answer? I will read two paragraphs and leave it at the Presidium’s disposal for you to read, since it is a personal document – it is not secret – and you will be able to understand what it says.

What Brigadier General Papadakis says: “As far as the receipt and use of the aforementioned memorandum draft is concerned, which – I repeat – did not regard a non-official report, dated 4 September 2017 by the MP in the Parliament on 7 November 2017, I completely ignore any facts on this issue. Based on the aforementioned, it is fully proven that I never submitted a written non-official report with the elements of this subject – personal-administrative issues – dated 4 September to any administrative bodies or authorities”.

There is no report. There is a series of messages, stolen from his computer, which Mr. Loverdos presents as a report. The newspapers made a front page out of them and we have been discussing for over a month on a report which he says he never submitted.

As far as the incident is concerned, it was related to certain people’s effort to break this deal and, for this reason, Military Justice had to be involved. The Military Prosecutor came to my office, to verify whether some people trade documents as if they were confetti.

Therefore, the Military Prosecutor was called to see if some people trafficked documents.

Do you want me to tell you what was the conclusion of an administrative inquiry under oath, performed by the Chief HNDGS? That the said secret document left this Directorate because the personnel there never changed and some among them did business.

I go on: You testified on various things that did not concern the interpellation.

As far as the interpellation is concerned, Ms President, I will have to answer to twelve questions. If I can do it in a quarter of an hour, I will do it.

So, the referred questions are included in the first question by the consul, Mr. Klouvatos, which arrived via electronic message the night before the signing of the said contract and will be submitted. It is not forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The specific telex is personal.

The pertinent GDDIA director, Admiral Kyriakidis, calls on the phone and points out the following: “Gentlemen, if you want to change the authorized representative, who is Mr. Papadopoulos, you will have to make a written waiver of authorization. He states the same thing to the Saudi Arabian authorities.

The Consul and the Ambassador insist that Papadopoulos is not the representative. What does the Ministry of National Defence do? It asks from the military attaché that is responsible for Saudi Arabia to take the documents, which are ratified by the Consulate – and I will submit them –  to ask if these documents are true or not, if there is authorization or not.

The General who is the director of Military Attachés officially replies that the documents are true and that Papadopoulos’ representation is valid.

Therefore, if we wanted to make any changes and bring again the programme to the Parliament with a different number of ammunition, with a different representative, we would have to bring it again to the Governmental Council on Foreign Policy and National Defence, and then again to the Parliament, because it would be a different interstate agreement.

Therefore, as far as the aforementioned are concerned, I will deposit Mr. Klouvatos’ personal e-mail, which is not forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I go on and submit the document with which Mr. Papadopoulos is appointed representative, from the Saudi Arabian side.

I submit the transmission of the authenticity control performed by the Military Attaché.

I submit the ratified, by the Greek Embassy, document of the Military Attaché, saying that it is an official document.

I submit the Arabian copy, as well as Saudi Arabia’s document to the Military Attaché saying that the situation remains the same.

Finally, I share with you the End User Certificate from June 2016, regarding the bombs and Papadopoulos’ request, which also has the Consulate’s stamp and the consular authority’s revenue stamps; this way we can see if this Embassy in Riyadh knew if Papadopoulos was true or not.

Moreover, ladies and gentlemen, I submit the passports that arrived from the Ministry of Saudi Arabia for the ammunition control.

Finally, I will submit the End User Certificate regarding the 100.000 ammunition, which also has the signature and stamp from our embassy in Riyadh.

Thus, all what was said is just fiction. There is the authorization, on May 2016, of “Olympic Industries” to be a representative, signed by the Director of the Armaments Directorate. On June 2016, there is the signature of General Abdulah Al Asseri, the Chief of Procurements, which certifies the end user. This is the most official document there is.

On October 27 there is a letter of confirmation of the authorization above – since we were troubled as well, and the Military Attaché specifically asked about this – signed by General Halid Bin Abdulaziz Al Saif, Chief and head of the Military Attachés.

On October 27 2016, the photocopies of the passports of the Saudi Arabian officials who would inspect the ammunition were transmitted. Did the “fake” send those, as well?

And as a final point, on November 2016, we have the End User Certificate by General Yahya Abdulah Al Asseri which certifies the 300.000 ammunition. What is the difference between 300.000 and 100.000 ammunition? The only agreement there is concerns 300.000 ammunition.

We cannot make any changes to the number of ammunition. The things that you say, that we would make a deal for 300.000 and be paid for 100.000 of them – the rest would go to the desert – do not happen in democracies. There are no such procedures. Do you know when did such things happen? During other times, when ammunition would exit the industries and come back as drugs. Let me remind you of the ship “Alexandros”.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, as far as Mr. Papadopoulos is concerned, I have a big surprise for you, in order to prove who Papadopoulos actually is: We only knew about him that he represented Saudi Arabia. He represented Saudi Arabia and he was checked several times, as far as his criminal record is concerned, but also regarding the foreseen authorizations he should have.  

So, let me submit to the Parliament the National Regulation for Industrial Security.

I submit to the Parliament Mr. Papadopoulos and his company’s authorizations to handle classified materiel, which have gone through all services, with their names on.

I submit to the Parliament the personnel’s authorization, which has been accepted by GDDIA, the Certificate of Industrial Insurance for the venues, by the District authorities.

I submit to the Parliament a change in the company’s name that occurred sometime, so as to avoid misunderstandings.

I submit to the Parliament Papadopoulos’ license to carry a gun.

I submit to the Parliament Papadopoulos’ clear criminal record.

However, this concerns Saudi Arabia.  

And, since you ask me if I know Papadopoulos, I will tell you: yes, I know him. Do you know where I know him from? From Mr. Mitsotakis.

Mr. Mitsotakis is not here today. He is missing from today’s discussion.

Who is Mr. Papadopoulos? Some time ago, following my request, I received the following information by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the late Konstantinos Mitsotakis, in 1988, before becoming Prime Minister, had decided that the National Bank of Greece would give a loan to Russia, so as to pay off the Greek exporters whom the Russian Federation had stopped paying. In 1991, a delegation of 40 businessmen visited Russia, along with the director of the Bank of Greece at the time, Mr. Yermidis. Part of this delegation with Ms. Bakoyiannis, if she remembers, was Mr. Ilias Papadopoulos with his son, who both received 67 millions by the National Bank of Greece and the Greek people, to pay Papadopoulos you do not know.

Moreover, Papadopoulos’ lawyer is a MP with the New Democracy party!
Ο δε δικηγόρος του Παπαδόπουλου είναι Βουλευτής της Νέας Δημοκρατίας!

Let’s see him raise his hand, Papadopoulos’ lawyer, let’s all see who are involved with Papadopoulos and who took measures for Papadopoulos.

I submit the documents concerning Konstantinos Mitsotakis’ delegation in 1991, and the articles from the newspapers “Apogevmatini”, “Eleftheros Typos” and “Kathimerini” on that 67 millions gift.

You see, we tried to collect with Papadopoulos’ signatures 67 million Euros from Saudi Arabia and you paid at the time 66 millions from the National Bank, so that Papadopoulos, whom you didn’t know, would take them back. And you accused us of having relations with an intermediary.

And since in PASOK they laugh and Mr. Loverdos has obtained his day’s labor with the story of Papadopoulos on all the newspaper’s front-pages and on the news, I will tell you this: Do you know Mr. Loverdos, how did the people at the Ministry made the acquaintance of Mr. Papadopoulos? Ms Gennimatas got him there on February 17 2014.
On February 17 2014, the company “IGG International”, based in Abu Dhabi, sends a request for the procurement of various ammunition, mostly small caliber, from the Hellenic Defence Systems.

On February 28, EAS S.A. submits an initial tender to IGG. An IGG delegation visits EAS so as to negotiate on the tender. Because of the quantities that were required, the programme was viewed as vital for the company and a series of visits for surveys on technical-constructional issues and productive capabilities for the specific time schedule followed.

In June 2014, in Paris, the managing director of EAS Mr. Christoyiannis, at the presence of the Alternate Minister of National defence Ms. Fofi Gennimatas and the company’s Chairman Mr. Demiris, signs a mutual release with IGG on the procurement of ammunition, estimated at 75 million Euros.

Trying to find a solution to the capability of producing a big number of ammunition within the given time by IGG, the managing director of EAS Mr. Christoyiannis approves on November 3, after getting the permission by the political leadership, a visit on the same day of EAS personnel to the venues of Vassilis Papadopoulos’ company “Olympic Industries SA” in Axioupolis, Kilkis.

On November 7, the negotiating committee visits the venues of “Olympic Industries SA” and on November 14 submits the relative report. I even submit their tickets and all the paperwork, so that you can see with whom did Papadopoulos speak at the Ministry of National Defence.

I hope with all that we can end this story and leave no shadows, ladies and gentlemen.

Listen to me; I am not interested in who is the representative of Saudi Arabia or other Middle Eastern countries. I am interested in having interstate agreements, I am interested in money that leaves one country’s account to enter another country’s account, so that no one can take them. Besides that, who will be the representative of the other side is something I cannot intervene with. I can only see what is provided by the law. It will soon be proven who were those who wanted to break the deal and why they wanted to break this deal that favoured the Greek public sector.

I can understand what Mr. Filis says and, if there is a political agreement not to sell to Saudi Arabia, then we will not sell. I don’t agree with Mr. Tsiaras’ point of view, that all Middle Eastern countries are Islamists, you have called them anything but terrorists. The New Democracy’s view on Saudi Arabia is known.

I submit the draft of the interstate agreement for the sale of usable surplus materiel, as well as the report of the negotiating committee and the sums given then to reach this price which, as the Saudi Arabians themselves admitted, is too expensive, yet it is the price given by the Hellenic Army General Staff.

Finally, I received a shameful attack, ladies and gentlemen, by the New Democracy party’s vice president. I didn’t intend to share this, however I will tell you, so that you can understand who hides behind this action and how does the mafia proceed, whether they are politicians, or journalists or gun dealers.

About a month ago, I received an anonymous phone call threatening me and my family. I notified the Hellenic Police’s Blackmail Department and I accepted the waiving of confidentiality to my mobile phone, so as to track the person who made the threatening call. Today he was called by the Blackmail Department. I submit the waiving of my number’s confidentiality.

I will tell you who that “no one” is. He is the gun dealer taking selfies with the New Democracy’s Vice President. He is Mr. Paterakis, who called from his company’s telephone. Today, he is being investigated by the Counter-terrorism department.

As some people may not remember who Mr. Paterakis is, he is the one who arranged the whole story with Saffa. He is the one specified in the newspaper “Kathimerini” on 16 November 2008 as the intermediary for the tilting submarines. He is the one who sent the letter to Mr. Atzpodien, so that the submarines case with Mr. Saffa would proceed.

He is the one who is part of the gang you serve as politician, coming against us here today, thinking that we will be afraid of your bosses’ triggermen, of the threats you make from within the Parliament, of your Paradise money.

We fear nothing. The more you target this Government, the stronger its unity will be. Don’t try to find any weak links here. We don’t have a Tsohatzopoulos among us, we don’t have any shadows. The Chief said something: I respect Mr. Dimoschakis as a former Hellenic Police Chief. I will give you the contract with the UAE Mr. Dimoschakis. Do you want to come in my office and see it and then give it back? We only trade through interstate contracts; it is in the past that business was made without them.

If you have the time, take and read Evangelos Papastamatiou’s book, an Air Force Lieutenant General, former Chief of the Tactical Air Force; he describes that he was called in 1980 to carry guns to Riyadh he and his crew shouldn’t know about, and he refers who was paid in cash at some time. He was a member of the government at the time. God bless you".