Three former ministers in the Karamanlis government have been indicted by the Greek Parliament over their involvement in the Vatopedi land scandal.

Former Deputy Economy and Finance minister Petros Doukas, former Agriculture minister Evangelos Basiakos and former Deputy Agriculture minister Alexandros Kontos are accused of assisting the Vatopedi monastery to exchange its low value lands, including Lake Vistonida, with the state’s prime real estate.

Greek parliamentarians agreed that three former ministers should face charges of breach of faith.

The indictment was decided by parliamentary vote, following a lengthy discussion from which the New Democracy parliamentarians abstained. Charges against two further former Ministers – Voulgarakis and Roussopoulos – were voted down.

The three defendants will appear before a special judiciary council, consisting of judges from the Supreme Court and the Council of State, which will decide whether the statute of limitations has expired.

All five former ministers have denied any wrongdoing.

The case, known as the Vatopedi scandal, centred on the wealthy 1,000-year-old monastery on Mount Athos received prime, state-owned property in exchange for cheap rural land.

The government lost more than 100 million euros in the land- exchange which served to settle the monastery’s land claims.

The current government has also launched legal action against the monastery, seeking 10 million euros in damages. An Athens court is expected to discuss the lawsuit in January.