Greek High Court Jurist Who Doubted Novartis Scandal Probed

(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – A retired Greek prosecutor who said the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA fabricated a fake scandal charging that 10 rival politicians took bribes from the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis is being investigated for that claim.

Just a few days before her scheduled retirement, Xeni Dimitriou asked Deputy Prosecutor Dimitris Dasoulas to look into former Supreme Court Vice President Ioannis Angelis who quit in January after saying colleagues and superiors had mishandled the Novartis probe and that the charges against SYRIZA rivals were made up to discredit them.

Nine of those accused by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of being involved in “the biggest scandal in the history of the Greek state” have  been cleared and claims by secret whistleblowers about corruption haven’t been proved, with no evidence emerging.

Angelis also claimed that he and a group of other prosecutors were offered information about a former Greek minister during a meeting with American judicial officials in Vienna last November, said Kathimerini in a report on the investigation into him.

Angelis’ claims had originally been shelved but are to be re-examined as part of the new investigation, the paper said, adding that Dasoulas will also review top corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki’s accusations against Angelis.

Those include her charges about a range of alleged disciplinary and criminal offenses including, for instance, that he took one of her memory sticks during an intense feud between the pair with the Novartis case caught in the middle.

SYRIZA Justice Minister Michalis Kalogirou ordered a disciplinary investigation into Angelis’ claims – something he is required to do by law, the paper said. It will be run by the  Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court.

Angelis is not the only judicial official probing the Novartis affair to have resigned. Former top corruption prosecutor Eleni Raikou quit in May 2017, citing threats and pressure from state officials.

Tsipras replaced top officials of the court just ahead of their compulsory retirement this year despite criticism from the poll-leading New Democracy he was still trying to manipulate the courts and the justice system.