Ex-health minister gets extension for defense in Novartis probe


Former socialist health minister Andreas Loverdos on Friday was given an extension to prepare his defense before a corruption prosecutor in connection with the alleged bribery scandal involving the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis.

Loverdos, who is to face prosecutor on May 30, is being investigated in connection with alleged bribes during his term as health minister from April 2011 to May 2012.

Of 10 Greek politicians originally implicated in the alleged Novartis scandal, only Loverdos has been charged. He has vehemently rebuffed the accusations, speaking of trumped-up charges.

The ongoing investigation has failed to turn up any evidence of illicit payments made into the accounts of Greek politicians.