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August 20, 2019
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Novartis prosecutors face inquiry

In the latest twist in the complex investigation into the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis and whether Greek politicians accepted bribes to boost the company’s market share, Greece’s Supreme Court prosecutor has ordered a probe into the handling of the investigation.

Just a few days before her scheduled retirement, Xeni Dimitriou asked deputy prosecutor Dimitris Dasoulas to undertake the probe, which is to chiefly focus on claims by Supreme Court vice president Ioannis Angelis.

Angelis quit in January, claiming that his colleagues and superiors had mishandled the Novartis probe and that charges against the Greek politicians implicated in the probe had essentially been fabricated.

Angelis also claimed that he and a group of other prosecutors were offered information about a former Greek minister during a meeting with American judicial officials in Vienna last November.

Angelis’ claims had originally been shelved but are to be re-examined as part of the new investigation.

As well as investigating Angelis’ claims against top corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki and other prosecutors working the Novartis case, Dasoulas is also to probe Touloupakis’ own accusations against Angelis concerning a range of alleged disciplinary and criminal offenses including, for instance, that he took one of her memory sticks.

Further complicating the matter, Justice Minister Michalis Kalogirou ordered a disciplinary investigation into Angelis’ claims – something he is required to do by law, Kathimerini understands.

That probe is to be conducted by the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court.

Angelis is not the only judicial official probing the Novartis affair to have resigned. Former top corruption prosecutor Eleni Raikou quit in May 2017, citing threats and pressure from state officials.

A year-and-a-half since a prosecutors’ investigation into an alleged bribery scandal involving Novartis was sent to Parliament, no evidence has been uncovered of illicit payments into the accounts of 10 Greek politicians implicated in the affair.

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