Ex-SYRIZA official’s lawyers ask for ouster of MPs from Novartis committee to be reversed


The lawyers of SYRIZA’s former alternate minister of justice, Dimitris Papangelopoulos, have called for the special parliamentary committee investigating allegations that the ex-official interfered in a judicial probe of the Novartis bribery case reverse its decision to bar two prominent leftist MPs from the proceedings.

Echoing calls from the main opposition party’s leader and former prime minister Alexis Tsipras, lawyers Dimitris Tsovolas and Lydia Tsovola on Thursday submitted a memo arguing that the decision to bar SYRIZA’s Dimitris Tzanakopolos and Pavlos Polakis from the parliamentary investigation was “completely arbitrary and illegal.”

The two leftist lawmakers were ejected on the grounds that there would have been a conflict of interest as they are witnesses in the investigation, which seeks to ascertain whether Papangelopoulos tried to influence the judicial inquiry into claims by anonymous witnesses that 10 officials in governments prior to that of SYRIZA’s had accepted bribes from the Novartis pharmaceutical firm.