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October 24, 2019

Novartis Case: Ruling ND Party to Propose Investigative Committee for Ex-Minister Papangelopoulos

Dimitris Papangelopoulos served as former Greek PM Tsipras’ Deputy Minister of Justice. File photo

Stavros Kalafatis, the secretary of the ruling New Democracy (ND) Party, announced on Wednesday afternoon that ND will propose to the House the creation of a special Parliamentary Committee for the preliminary examination of the accusations against Dimitris Papangelopoulos, Greece’s former Deputy Justice minister.

“It is clear from a mere reading of the case file that there is clear evidence of Dimitrios Papagelopoulos’ unlawful interference with the judiciary. For this reason, the ND caucus will propose the setting up of a Special Parliamentary Committee for a Preliminary Inquiry on the former Deputy Minister of Justice,” Kalafatis’ statement said.

Papangelopoulos has been accused by Ioannis Aggelis, the Attorney General of the Areopagus, Greece’s Supreme Court, of attempting to manipulate the judiciary in order to blame his political opponents in regard to the scandal involving the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

Along with Aggelis, Greece’s ex-PM Antonis Samaras and ex-deputy PM Evangelos Venizelos are accusing the ministe, who served in the administration of Alexis Tsipras, of illegal involvement in the Novartis case.

However, the ND statement released on Wednesday made clear that the party does not intend to include former Premier Tsipras himself in the investigation.

“The ND Parliamentary Group, according to the existing case file, does not propose the establishment of a Special Committee to examine the former Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras,” it notes.

“It is a conscious choice of a responsible political party, according to which former prime ministers cannot be accused of anything unless there is consistent evidence. Otherwise, the political life of our country would be poisoned,” the ND statement concluded.

The Novartis case involves a large network of employees of the Swiss pharmaceutical company and politicians from many countries. The Swiss corporation had allegedly bribed doctors and politicians to promote its own drugs to markets in several countries, including that of Greece.

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