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Politics

Second Novartis Witness Says Politicians Bribed, But Knows Nothing

February 26, 2020

ATHENS – A second alleged whistleblower told Greek police she knows nothing about the case of the Swiss drug company Novartis giving bribes to 10 rival politicians of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA but will testify that they did.

Her identity protected under whistleblower laws and called by the pseudonym Ekaterini Kelesi, spoke at police headquarters about the case in which a parliamentary committee is probing whether former alternative justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos meddled in the case when SYRIZA was in power, with prosecutors and former prosecutors also swapping charges of political interference.

The testimony is supposed to be secret but leaks have been unstoppable with media stories giving precise details of what is being said during the investigation by lawmakers after former premier and now major opposition leader Alexis Tsipras saying it’s the biggest scandal since the creation of the modern Greek state, without offering any evidence either.

After saying she doesn’t know anything about the case, the witness called Kelesi then added, however, that she stood by her earlier allegations she did, reported Kathimerini, and that the politicians took money to help Novartis further it business.

She said she will testify in court they took bribes but there was no report on whether she would offer proof after a first whistleblower, dressed in a disguise with a mask, told police he assumed politicians took money, based on rumors, the paper also added.

Seven of the 10 accused, including former premier and previous New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, have already been cleared and some are suing to force the revelation of the witnesses identities, although one became known when stopped by police at the international airport while trying to get to Spain.

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