Greek High Court Won’t Replace Novartis Probe Prosecutors

(FILE - Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS – Greece’s Supreme Court rejected a equest by Deputy Prosecutor Ioannis Angelis for two colleagues to be taken off the case of alleged bribery involving the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis, based on testimony from secret whistleblowers.

Angelis had asked that Dimitris Dasoulas and Xeni Dimitriou be recused from the criminal investigation into his claims  top corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki and other prosecutors bungled the investigation and charges against the Greek politicians implicated in the affair had essentially been fabricated, said Kathimerini.

Senior prosecutors Evangelos Zacharis and Lambros Sofoulakis had been given the job of looking into Angelis’ allegations. Former Premier and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras pushed the case, saying that 10 rival politicians took bribes from the company but not a shred of evidence has been produced to back up his claim it was the biggest scandal in modern Greek state history.

Angelis accused his judicial colleagues of mismanaging the Novartis probe and said a politician he identified only as “Rasputin” – without explaining why he wouldn’t provide the name, is set to questioned in the case.

That came as Touloupaki – who is feuding with Angelis and charged him with stealing one of her computer memory sticks – said she will charge four people she wouldn’t name either.

All this is based on the word of three whistleblowers – two whose names are still being kept secret and the other identified only when he was stopped trying to get to Spain – who said they overheard something SYRIZA political rivals being bribed, including two former Prime Ministers, a former finance minister and Bank of Greece Gov. Yannis Stournaras.

Nine have been cleared so far and the remaining one being questioned, former health minister Andreas Loverdos, said he’s being smeared and set up, claimed innocence and said he was the victim of a despicable political witch hunt.

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