Former premier claims rivals implicated him in Novartis case

Former premier claims rivals implicated him in Novartis case

An investigation into the claims of politicians implicated in the Novartis bribery scandal that the case was fabricated and politically motivated moved another step forward on Tuesday with the testimony of former conservative prime minister Antonis Samaras.

The alleged frame-up, Samaras claims, was orchestrated by officials in the former SYRIZA-led government who used their influence to interfere with the judicial process so that unfounded corruption charges could be brought against their rivals.

Samaras is one of 10 Greek politicians who were implicated in the original probe but against whom judicial officials have yet to find any incriminating evidence.

Responding to questions from the media following his testimony at the Supreme Court in Athens, Samaras said that he has specifically named former SYRIZA prime minister Alexis Tsipras and ex-deputy justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos.

He has also taken issue with certain prosecutors involved in the original probe as well as the protected witnesses on whose testimony the case was built.

To back up his claims, Samaras submitted a 32-page memo to Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Evangelos Zacharis, who is investigating the judicial handling of the Novartis case.

On Wednesday, former socialist finance minister Evangelos Venizelos is to appear as a witness before Zacharis.

On Thursday, meanwhile, Zacharis is expected to question Ioannis Angelis, another Supreme Court prosecutor, who claims that the original Novartis investigation was mismanaged and undermined by the interventions of an unnamed politician.

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