Two witnesses in Novartis case remain protected


Two pseudonymous witnesses who have alleged that 10 current and former officials, including former prime minister Antonis Samaras and Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras, were bribed by pharmaceuticals company Novartis will not have their true identities revealed for at least two more years and will have immunity from prosecution.

Samaras and Stournaras, as well as former minister and socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos, current Development and Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis and several other implicated officials, had strongly argued for the revelation of their identities, saying they had no supporting facts or had made ludicrous claims likely dictated to them.

Despite a dissenting opinion by a Supreme Court prosecutor, the Financial Crimes Prosecutors’ Office decided on continued witness protection.

The two are known by their pseudonyms, “Ekaterini Kelessi” and “Maximos Sarafis.”

Dimitris Papangelopoulos, a former alternate justice minister in the previous, leftist-led government, has been formally indicted by the Parliament for, among other accusations, conspiring to implicate the 10 conservative and socialist officials.