Judges reject travel ban appeal by Novartis probe suspect

Judges reject travel ban appeal by Novartis probe suspect

A judicial council on Friday rejected the appeal against a travel ban slapped on one of the former protected witnesses in a kickbacks investigation involving Swiss pharma giant Novartis.

In an extensive statement, Nikos Maniadakis tried to assure judges that he was not a flight risk. He also highlighted a series of failings by prosecutors in the investigation and contradictions that led to his status being change from that of witness to suspect. His efforts, however, failed.

Maniadakis, an academic and former Health Ministry advisor, was barred from leaving the country on December 31.

The investigation concerns allegations that the drugmaker bribed doctors and 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.

Maniadakis told Skai TV earlier in the month that the charges of accepting bribes that have been brought against him are politically motivated. 

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