ATHENS – At the same time Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras directed a parliamentary probe, prosecutors reportedly can’t find any evidence that 10 rival politicians were paid 50 million euros ($61.77 million) in bribes to allegedly help the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis fix prices and have the flu shot market.
The targets, including two former Prime Ministers and members of the New Democracy Conservatives and former PASOK Socialists who were deposed when Tsipras took power in 2015, said he manufactured a fake scandal with no evidence beyond the secret testimony of three witnesses who can’t back up what they’re alleging and whose stories keep changing.
Anti-corruption prosecutors, headed by Eleni Touloupaki, are focusing on the bank accounts of the politicians’ advisers and associates and trying to find if any companies were used to channel unlawful payments, Kathimerini said it was told by sources it didn’t name.
A judicial source told the paper that based on the investigation so far, no evidence of politicians accepting bribes has been found of any kind, suggesting it’s already a dead end and backing up the assertions of those tied to the alleged scandal that it’s phony while adding the disclaimer it doesn’t mean there isn’t any evidence, just that none was found.
They had said Tsipras was trying to distract attention from his negotiations with international creditors after reneging on anti-austerity promises and planning to let the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) keep the word Macedonia in a new composite name despite the protests of hundreds of thousands at rallies in Thessaloniki and Athens and with surveys showing 68 percent are opposed.