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Society

Novartis Whistleblower Says Pressured to Accuse Politicians of Bribe Taking

December 5, 2019

ATHENS – One of three alleged whistleblowers who claimed that 10 political rivals of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA took bribes from the Swiss drug company Novartis – with no evidence to back it up – said he was pressured to implicate them.

Testifying before a parliamentary committee probing possible political interference in the case, former Health Ministry adviser Nikos Maniadakis, made those claims, said Kathimerini in a report.

Citing sources that weren’t identified, the paper said Maniakakis told lawmakers he was pressured by prosecutors to put the finger on SYRIZA rivals during a time when then-Premier Alexis Tsipras said his rivals were guilty of “the biggest scandal since the creation of the modern Greek state,” although seven have been cleared.

Maniadakis said he was prodded to name former New Democracy leader and previous premier Antonis Samaras, former health minister Adonis Georgiadis, Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras and former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos.

With the prosecutor, Eleni Touloupaki, also being probed over her role in pushing the case, another Supreme Court prosecutor Vassilis Pliotas asked for an independent magistrate to step in and take it over.

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