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Politics

SYRIZA Ex-Minister Faces Meddling Probe for Novartis Alleged Bribery Scandal

ATHENS – The former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA’s 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 accusing 10 rival politicians of taking bribes from the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis.

That was based on the word of three secret whistleblowers, two of whom have since been named but none of whom has produced a shred of evidence except for saying they overheard people they didn’t name that the politicians they accused may have taken money but they weren’t sure.

That was enough for then-premier and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to declare outright his rivals were guilty of “the biggest scandal since the creation of the modern Greek state,” although it has unraveled before him.

Now, New Democracy controls the Parliament and a committee which was expected on May 20 to vote on the proposal by the Conservatives to expand the probe of Papangelopoulos over whether he unduly tried to influence the courts to get SYRIZA’s rivals.

He has denied everything.

The vote will be on a proposal by 30 New Democracy lawmakers into whether Papangelopoulos should face a range of charges including abuse of power and blackmail although those often don’t lead anywhere

SYRIZA was expected to boycott the vote after Tsipras described the move to broaden the charges as a “fiasco,” while Papangelopoulos spoke of a “vindictive political persecution” against him, said Kathimerini in a report.

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