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SYRIZA Ex-Minister Pappas Called to Testify in Novartis Case

February 28, 2020

ATHENS – Former Digital Policy minister Nikos Pappas has been summoned to appear before a parliamentary committee looking into alleged interference by another former minister into the lagging investigation of whether the Swiss drug company Novartis bribed 10 political rivals of their former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA government.

That came a day after Greek-Israeli businessman Sabby Mionis accused former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos, the publisher of Dimokratia newspaper Ioannis Filippakis and two journalists of blackmail in 2016 over a list of wealthy Greeks hiding money in secret foreign accounts of a Swiss branch of HSBC.

Papangelopoulos is the center of the parliamentary committee investigation that has now ensnared Pappas for questioning although it wasn’t reported whether he would appear before the panel.

The blackmail allegedly took place after Dimokratia implicated Mionis in the so-called Lagarde list of depositors, with Kathimerini saying the accusations include that Pappas is said to have been present during a meeting where Papangelopoulos allegedly asked Mionis for a bribe of 350,000 euros ($385,989) to close the case.

The summoning of Pappas led SYRIZA members on the panel to also call for former premier and previous New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, who was cleared of any wrongdoing in the Novartis case after the leftists said he took bribes, to also be questioned.

The SYRIZA members, the paper said, also wanted a close Samaras aide, Stavros Papastavrou, journalist Gianna Papadakou as well as Filipakis to testify before the committee instead but the request was denied.

Corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki, who was scheduled to testify didn’t show up the report said, after she said she got the notice too late to show.

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