NEWS

Witness in Novartis bribery probe now seen as a suspect

TAGS: Justice, Corruption

One of the three protected witnesses in a kickbacks investigation involving Swiss pharma giant Novartis was slapped with a travel ban and had his passport confiscated after reportedly trying to flee the country with his family on Monday night, Greek media said, citing judicial sources.

The unnamed man, who has served as an advisor to several former health ministers, had provided information to corruption prosecutors investigating the practices adopted by the company to dominate the Greek market. New evidence, however, led authorities to charge him with passive bribery, aggravated by the provisions pertaining to state embezzlers, the same sources said.

The investigation concerns allegations that the drugmaker bribed Greek doctors and prominent public officials to increase its access to the Greek market and sell its products at inflated prices. It is largely based on the testimonies of the three key witnesses.

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