Top corruption prosecutor shelves suit against Stournaras in Novartis case

Top corruption prosecutor shelves suit against Stournaras in Novartis case

Greece’s top corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki on Thursday shelved a legal suit lodged against central bank governor Yannis Stournaras over bribery claims involving Swiss drugmaker Novartis.

Prosecutors have already cleared more than 10 politicians of receiving bribes, including former prime ministers Antonis Samaras and Panagiotis Pikrammenos, and ex-socialist minister Evangelos Venizelos.

Touloupaki, meanwhile, sent the case file concerning former PASOK minister Andreas Loverdos to Parliament so as to receive approval to conduct a probe into bribery charges against him.

The case still remains open for Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis and European Union commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Greece’s SYRIZA administration had sought to portray the case as the “biggest scandal since the establishment of the Greek state.” New Democracy, which unseated SYRIZA in July, has deplored it as the biggest frame-up ever concocted by a Greek government against its political opponents.

Samaras and Venizelos have both filed charges against all the witnesses – including those in protective custody – who testified against them in the probe. Avramopoulos has requested that the two anonymous witnesses be stripped of their protected status.

Senior prosecutor Evangelos Zacharis is conducting a probe into claims of political intervention in the Novartis inquiry and into criticism by politicians implicated in the probe of its judicial handling.