Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Ioannis Angelis claimed, during more than five hours of testimony on Thursday, that an unnamed politician dubbed “Rasputin” played a pivotal role in influencing the course of an investigation into the alleged bribery of politicians by the Swiss drugs manufacturer Novartis.
During his deposition before another Supreme Court deputy prosecutor, Evangelos Zacharis, who has been tasked with probing claims that the original Novartis probe was subject to political intervention, Angelis claimed that the politician not only interfered in the Novartis probe but in other judicial investigations handled by the country’s corruption prosecutors too.
He did not identify “Rasputin,” who has, however, been named as former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos by others including former conservative premier Antonis Samaras. (Samaras is one of the 10 Greek politicians implicated in the original Novartis probe, which has, however, failed to produce any incriminating evidence.)
According to Angelis’ testimony, “Rasputin” was “omnipresent and pulling the strings in the corruption prosecutors’ office.” He claimed that the official’s influence over the country’s chief corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki was such that he even sat in on meetings to discuss his ostensible interventions in her work.
Angelis repeated his claims according to which the prosecution of politicians had been decided in the absence of any evidence.
Zacharis this week also heard testimony from Samaras, former socialist finance minister Evangelos Venizelos and European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, who were also implicated in the original probe and have claimed that the case was fabricated to discredit them.