NEWS

Prosecutors expected to send Novartis file to Parl’t on Monday

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A judicial investigation into an alleged bribery scandal involving the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis is expected to be completed on Monday, judicial sources said, amid indications that at least two of the 10 Greek politicians named in the probe are to face charges.

The leftist government is keen to see the results of the probe as it has been hoping to bolster its narrative of a crackdown on corruption by targeting political rivals.

Sources indicate that probe, which began more than two years and prompted the resignations of three prosecutors including the former corruption prosecutor Eleni Raikou, is basically complete.

The new chief corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki is expected to send the report to Parliament in the course of the day, paving the way for the immunity of the politicians in question to be lifted and charges levelled.

The first step will be for Touloupaki to ask the House to lift the parliamentary immunity of two politicians, both said to be former health ministers. The politicians will be asked to provide explanations and charges will be brought against them if the House is not satisfied with their accounts.

The remaining politicians named in the probe will see the accusations against them shelved.  

No evidence of illicit payments has been found over the course of the investigation, meaning that the charges will be based on witness testimonies.