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Politics

SYRIZA Ex-Minister to Testify Over Novartis Brouhaha

ATHENS – Former justice minister and Radical Left SYRIZA veteran Dimitris Papangelopoulos, who's been investigated over alleged interference in the unraveled alleged scandal around the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis was set to testify before a parliamentary committee June 17.

Papangelopoulos is accused of politically motivated interference in the probe in an attempt to bolster the sagging fortunes of SYRIZA before the Leftists were ousted in July 7, 2019 snap elections by New Democracy.

Papangelopoulos’ testimony is expected to conclude the work of the committee, which will file a report to decide whether the former minister should be indicted although his colleagues haven't taken part in the sessions in protest.

The committee was supposed to also summon prosecutors to testify but Kathimerini said that was nixed to focus only on politicians without any explanation how evidence could be gathered without talking to those investigating the case judicially.

Papangelopoulos is accused of trying to influence the course of an investigation into alleged whistleblower allegations that 10 prominent politicians had accepted bribes from Novartis but not a shred of evidence has been produced and seven cleared.

Three prosecutors also accused of mishandling the case said they believed the witnesses who made the claims but not why the continued to push the investigation after it had come apart.

Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras said was it the biggest scandal since the creation of the modern Greek state before it turned out it wasn't but as a sitting politician he couldn't be charged with slander.

Chief corruption prosecutor, Eleni Touloupaki said she is the victim of a “a coordinated attempt at moral extermination” as she is being probed for constantly insisting there had been wrongdoing.

Touloupaki testified to deputy Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Zacharis who is investigating allegations judicial officials were influenced by SYRIZA to get its rivals.

Touloupaki denied charges of abuse of power, dereliction of duty and making false statements, saying it was absurd that she should be accused of setting up a case that has unraveled, said Kathimerini earlier.

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