Leaked bribery audio of an exchange between Edek party leader Marinos Sizopoulos and former party member and EU MP Demetris Papadakis surfaced on Tuesday, sparking an exchange between the two.

In the conversation, some time before the EU elections, Sizopoulos and Papadakis discuss hiring staff at Papadakis’ local office, where the party leader is heard requesting two Edek members be given positions at the MEP’s local office.

Papadakis confirmed the audio was the two of them having the discussion in a blog post, and that this was the reason he quit the party.

In an announcement, Edek said: “The dialogue in a private meeting between the President of Edek, Marinos Sizopoulos, and the party’s former MEP, Demetris Papadakis, was illegally recorded, as Marinos Sizopoulos did not know that the conversation had been recorded.”

“The leaking of the conversation is of course also illegal,” the announcement stated.

With his written statement on the matter, Papadakis claimed that “the conversation, which was recorded by him, without my knowledge, I confirm is authentic and took place at the offices of Edek shortly after my re-election”.

Sizopoulos, Papadakis continued, before the 2019 European elections, “had asked all the candidate MEPs of EDEK to sign a ‘Contract – Commitment Form’ with which we would essentially consent to the allocation of money for his funds from the European Parliament. I explained that this is illegal and unethical. In addition, I made it clear that, for every amount disbursed by the European Parliament to its members, evidence is provided, and a thorough check is carried out, so that it is spent transparently, for the intended purpose.

In the audio, I can be heard many times repeating that what he is asking me to do is illegal and he is heard insisting that I do it illegally, until the end of the conversation, when he now ends up threatening me that if I don’t agree I will be left without a party, as finally happened after he removed me from EDEK.”

Taking into account the above-mentioned facts, he said that the party has turned into a criminal organisation.

He added: “The audio evidence has already been sent to my lawyers so that all legal measures can be taken against an open extortion.”