Novartis witness says he was pressed

Novartis witness says he was pressed

Testifying before a parliamentary committee probing possible political interference in the Novartis bribery investigation last night, Nikos Maniadakis, a previous adviser to the Health Ministry and former protected witness in the probe, claimed to have been pressured by prosecutors to implicate politicians, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources, Maniadakis said he was prodded in relation to former conservative premier Antonis Samaras, former health minister Adonis Georgiadis, Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras and former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos.

Meanwhile, following a request by Supreme Court prosecutor Vassilis Pliotas, the plenary of the Athens Court of Appeals is to sit on December 12 to discuss whether to assign the Novartis bribery case to a magistrate who would oversee interrelated investigations spurred by the original probe.

If Pliotas’ proposal is approved, as is expected, this would take the case out of the hands of corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki, who is under investigation for claims that she sought to implicate 10 prominent politicians in the affair. She would have to hand over all her files, including those on former health ministers Georgiadis and Dimitris Avramopoulos, whose cases are still open.

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