NEWS

Committee to start examining merit of claims Novartis affair was fabricated

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A special parliamentary committee that will be inquiring into the merit of claims of political interference in the Novartis bribery case is set to start choosing witnesses on Tuesday afternoon.

Specifically, the special investigative committee is seeking to assess allegations that the justice minister in the former SYRIZA administration sought to implicate political rivals in a probe into the Swiss pharmaceutical firm’s practices in Greece.

Dimitris Papangelopoulos has been accused of influencing the investigation into claims by unidentified protected witnesses that 10 politicians – including two former prime ministers – accepted bribes from Novartis in exchange for preferential treatment. Most of the cases have already been consigned to the archive due to a lack of evidence.

A Supreme Court prosecutor has also been investigating the handling of the case to determine whether there is a case of undue influence in the course of justice.

Speaking on Antenna TV on Tuesday morning, meanwhile, Papangelopoulos returned the fire, saying that he is being deliberately targeted in a bid to deflect attention away from the accusations made against the 10 politicians.

“There are times in history when David wins,” Papangelopoulos said, citing the Biblical tale. “I am ready for them. I know what they’re trying to do. The only thing I have to lose is the time spent on studying the case file.”

He also defended himself saying that had the affair been an effort to implicate political rivals, seven of the 10 cases would not have been assigned to the archive.