SYRIZA’s Former Justice Minister Wants Time for Novartis Defense

ATHENS – Former justice minister and Radical Left SYRIZA veteran Dimitris Papangelopoulos, who's been investigated for months over alleged interference in the unraveled alleged scandal around the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis now said he needs more time to prepare his defense.

A parliamentary committee is looking into his role in the case in which three alleged whistleblowers said 10 political rivals of the former ruling SYRIZA took bribes from Novartis, which former premier and Leftist leaded Alexis Tsipras said was the biggest scandal since the creation of the modern Greek state.

But not a shred of evidence has been presented and seven of the accused have been cleared while anti-corruption prosecutors are also being probed for whether they too tried to influence the probe in favor of SYRIZA.

Papangelopoulos gave the committee a list of witnesses he would like summoned before the panel which is looking into whether there are grounds for a criminal investigation into his handling of the case, said Kathimerini.

Among the witnesses are high-ranking court officials, former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras, one of the accused who's been cleared –, and Papangelopoulos also wants testimony from ex-justice minister Michalis Kalogirou and the former general inspector for public administration, Maria Papaspyrou.



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