Supreme Court chief calls for probe into prosecutor’s resignation claims


Supreme Court President Vassiliki Thanou on Tuesday ordered an investigation into claims made last week by chief corruption prosecutor Eleni Raikou when she resigned from her post.

Raikou on Friday said that she was stepping down from the head of the department responsible for financial crimes as she felt that she was being prevented from doing her job, particularly in regards to an ongoing investigation into allegations that executives from Swiss drugs firm Novartis had bribed Greek politicians and doctors to boost sales.

Thanou called for a probe into Raikou’s claims regarding Novartis, but also for a separate investigation into allegations from another prosecutor that Raikou held back evidence pertaining to an ongoing probe of alleged cash-for-contracts deals made by former defense minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

In a related development meanwhile, MPs crossed swords in Parliament on Tuesday during a debate on whether a special House committee should be set up to conduct a preliminary investigation into the allegations against Papantoniou.

Though both the government and the main opposition appear to agree on the idea of a committee, MPs did not fail to clash over the purported intentions of each side to support the motion.

Papantoniou and his wife Stavroula Kourakou have already been convicted for trying to hide 1.3 million euros in a Swiss bank account from Greek authorities.

Papantoniou, 67, served under socialist PASOK as defense minister from 2001 to 2004, and economy minister from 1996 to 2001.