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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Suspension of criminal prosecution of an officer of the National Guard – The Parliament requests explanations from YPAM

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Suspension of criminal prosecution of an officer of the National Guard - The Parliament requests explanations from YPAM

A senior officer charged with possession of drugs and anabolic steroids, in addition to not being prosecuted, was allowed to resign from the EF, thus securing his pension rights. In fact, with his departure from the army, he was awarded an honorary degree! A female non-commissioned officer, in a period of three years, received a total of 762 days sick leave, ie she was absent for more than two years from her service. Although the GEEF repeatedly suggested to the Ministry of Defense the termination of its appointment, however, this never happened. From the handling of the above cases, reasonable questions arise for the Ministry of Defense, which are highlighted through the recent report of the Audit Service, which will be examined tomorrow by the Audit Committee of the Parliament. It is clear that those involved in the above cases received scandalous favors from predecessors of the current Minister of Defense Mr. Charalambos Petridis. The head of the Hellenic Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Demokritos Zervakis, as well as the general director of the Ministry of Defense, Andreas P. Loukas, were summoned to tomorrow's meeting of the parliamentary Audit Committee, in order to give answers to the incorrect texts recorded in the report of the Audit Office.

Promotion and drugs

In August 2018, a senior officer of the Armed Forces was arrested by YKAN, in whose house anabolic substances and drugs were found. The officer had been promoted four months earlier, despite his poor evaluation. One month after his arrest, and specifically on 19/9/2018, he submitted a request for his resignation from the ranks of the Armed Forces, which was not accepted by the Council of Ministers, due to the pending criminal case against him. In addition, the former Minister of Defense, Mr. Savvas Angelidis, taking into account the nature and seriousness of the crimes he committed, made him available. As characteristically pointed out in a document of the Ministry of Defense, dated 30/11/2018, the offenses committed by the said officer “are not in line with the capacity of the military and in particular of the senior officer, therefore any stay in the Service would cause adverse comments and shock of the trust, credibility and prestige of the Armed Forces, both by the public and by the members of the Force “.

As recorded in the report of the Audit Service, on 14/7/2020, the Assistant Attorney General Mr. Savvas Angelidis, who at the time of the above events was the Minister of Defense, suspended the criminal prosecution of this officer following a relevant request he submitted his lawyer, according to whom in case of suspension of his criminal prosecution the accused would voluntarily resign from the ranks of EF. Subsequently, the Council of Ministers, based on the above developments, decided to approve the resignation request of the officer in question by the Armed Forces. In order to handle this case, the Audit Office notes, inter alia, the following in its report:

1. In essence, this serious misconduct committed by the senior officer was barred, to which, in fact, he was awarded an honorary degree during his early retirement. If his service was terminated under Regulation 42 (1) (e) of KDP 351/2016, the officer would not receive an honorary degree. This Regulation stipulates that in case of an opinion of a competent medical council for an officer's dependence on addictive substances, then, his service is terminated immediately by a decision of the Minister of Defense. In this case, no such opinion was sought.

2. The decision to suspend the criminal prosecution of the officer concerned ruled out the possibility of his criminal conviction and consequently the imposition of an additional penalty by the Disciplinary Board, which, inter alia, may impose the penalty of the demand for resignation or dismissal. , which would mean the loss of his retirement benefits.

3. The handling of the case sets a bad precedent for other future cases and acts as a deterrent to the exemplary punishment and intolerance of such incidents. Indicatively, it is pointed out in the report of the Audit Service that the Police is investigating a similar incident against a non-commissioned officer of the Hellenic Police.

The Legal Service

The Ministry of Defense, in a letter dated 14/6/2021 to the Audit Office, made it clear that the decision to suspend the criminal prosecution of this officer with a simultaneous submission by the request for resignation was taken by the Legal Service, upon request. of the officer's lawyer. The Ministry of Defense also clarified to the Audit Office that, based on the current legislation, the awarding of an honorary degree to an officer whose resignation request is approved by a decision of the Council of Ministers is mandatory. In this case, given the above approval of the Council of Ministers, the awarding of an honorary degree to the officer in question was inevitable, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Sick leave

An investigation into a complaint brought before the Audit Office revealed that an EF non-commissioned officer was receiving an extended sick leave, mainly after he was appointed by a volunteer non-commissioned officer to a permanent non-commissioned officer with the rank of Sergeant. In particular, it was found, according to data from the GEEF, that in a period of three years from the said appointment she received a total of 762 days sick leave. GEEF, at the end of its two-year probationary period, repeatedly suggested to the Ministry of Defense that its appointment be terminated, however, the Ministry of Defense granted successive extensions of its probationary period, on the grounds that the required probationary period had not been completed. Indicatively, it is stated that during the first six-month extension granted to her, the said non-commissioned officer appeared in her unit for only one day.

Source: politis.com.cy

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