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Politics

Greek Prosecutors Deny Wrongdoing in Stalled Novartis Case

ATHENS – Greece’s chief corruption prosecutor, Eleni Touloupaki, and two associates denied any wrongdoing in their handling of an alleged scandal around the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis that has unraveled without any evidence.

Testifying before Evangelos Zacharis, a Deputy Supreme Court prosecutor, they denied charges of abuse of power, dereliction of duty and making false statements in the case in which 10 political rivals of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA were accused of taking bribes from the company.

Seven have already been cleared with no proof brought by three alleged whistleblowers who said they overheard that the politicians may have taken money in a case based on hearsay that became a political football.

Zacharis is responsible for probing allegations that judicial officials were influenced by SYRIZA to go after its rivals, the now-ruling New Democracy and politicians from the now-defunct PASOK Socialists who served the Conservatives in a coalition.

The three charged prosecutors said they believed the witnesses who made the claims but it wasn't explained why no evidence had been produced and why the case continued to be pushed despite that.

SYRIZA’s former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos is expected to be the target of a growing investigation into whether he tried to help engineer a fake scandal against rivals.

Former premier and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras earlier said outright his rivals were guilty of “the biggest scandal since the creation of the modern Greek state,” although it has fallen apart before him.

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