Minister sends Novartis bribe file back to prosecutor

Minister sends Novartis bribe file back to prosecutor

Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis on Tuesday returned to judicial authorities a file on the alleged bribery scandal involving Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis, after a parliamentary committee completed a fruitless inquiry into the 10 politicians named in the case and concluded it is not competent to examine it.

The panel also ruled that the bribery accusations for politicians are not time-barred.

The move means the corruption prosecutor will continue his investigation into whether the company bribed prominent politicians, doctors and public officials to increase its access to the Greek market and sell its products at inflated prices.

On May 19, lawmakers ruled the parliament has no jurisdiction to investigate the role of the politicians named in the file, in a controversy which has further polarized a deeply divided political landscape.

Opposition lawmakers have accused the government of launching a slander campaign to discredit its political opponents.

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