Former prime minister Antonis Samaras has filed a defamation suit against journalist Costas Vaxevanis over a Facebook post last week in which he accuses the ex-conservative leader of lying about his involvement in the Novartis case.
Samaras is among 10 top politicians being accused by a prosecutor on the basis of testimony from three anonymous witnesses of taking bribes from the Swiss pharmaceutical giant in exchange for preferential treatment.
“A defendant has the right to defend himself even by lying. In this regard, Antonis Samaras is justified in lying in order to get out of a difficult spot,” Vaxevanis, who is the publisher of the newspaper Documento, wrote.
Speaking to the ANA-MPA news agency, a close associate of Samaras said the post was “vulgar and provocatively insulting.” He also accused Vaxevanis of acting on “orders.”