Executive denies bribe charges in Novartis probe

Executive denies bribe charges in Novartis probe

Within hours of the owner of an advertising agency telling a Greek corruption prosecutor that he paid an unnamed representative of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis some 400,000 euros, the executive, Filistor Destempasidis, issued a statement rejecting the claims as “monstrous degeneracy” and pledged to take legal action.

The agency owner, who was testifying as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged bribery scandal involving Novartis, had not named the representative, noting however that it was not Constantinos Frouzis, the former general manager of the firm’s Greek branch.

Neither the agency owner’s testimony, nor that of another four witnesses who were members of committees responsible for pricing medicines in the Greek market, produced any evidence incriminating politicians, sources said.

Ten politicians were accused by three unnamed witnesses of taking bribes from Novartis, though several months of investigations have failed to turn up any evidence to back those claims.

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