Former PASOK minister Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday slammed the Novartis bribery case brought against 10 high-ranking politicians under the previous administration as a “violation of the institutions.”
In his testimony to a Supreme Court prosecutor investigating the handling of witness claims that the 10 politicians took bribes from the Swiss medicine producer in return for preferential treatment, Venizelos dismissed the case – which has been consigned to the archive over a lack of evidence – as a “purported political scandal.”
Venizelos and other politicians who had been implicated in the 2018 case – including former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras, who testified on Tuesday, and European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, who testified on Monday – claim that the accusations against them were an attempt at a frame-up orchestrated by members of the former leftist SYRIZA government.
Any politicians who may have been involved in influencing the judicial process need to be “investigated by the judicial authorities and by Parliament,” Venizelos, a professor of constitutional law, told media as he left the Supreme Court in Athens.
“The issue no longer concerns me personally, nor am I the kind of person to seek... revenge,” Venizelos told the press, adding, however, that “our democratic duty dictates that we safeguard the rule of law and investigate the truth.”
Venizelos refrained from comment when asked whether he named any specific former government officials in his testimony.