Ex anti-corruption prosecutor sues successor of alleged Novartis case leaks
The former top anti-corruption prosecutor in the country, Eleni Raikou, on Monday filed a petition to exclude her successor, Eleni Touloupaki, as well as another two assistant prosecutors overseeing a years-old investigation in alleged kickbacks and price-fixing by the Greek subsidiary of pharmaceutical multinational Novartis.
The development comes a week after Raikou filed a lawsuit again Touloupaki and the other two prosecutors, charging that the trio leaked the name of her husband, an Athens area physician, to the press, in tandem with an insinuation that he received a Novartis’ payout.
A council of appellate justice must now rule on the exclusion petition as well as whether the trio can continue handing the Novartis indictment.
The voluminous and dragged out investigation reached Parliament last year, after Touloupaki’s indictment pointed the finger at several previous health ministers and even prime ministers – most of whom are political rivals of the current Tsirpas government – as suspects on charges bribery. The development generated a firestorm of criticism by the opposition and was eventually sent back to the proscutor for further investigation.
Touloupaki based her charges on the testimony of three anonymous witnesses, who over a three-month period said they overheard, were told or believed that Novartis’ former chief in Greece, Costas Frouzis, was bribing ministers and prime ministers. Interestingly enough, Frouzis was never called to testify before prosecutors over the allegations.
Raikou’s husband has already filed a lawsuit against the trio of prosecutors.
Dr. Lazaros Kornesis, a military physician, has denied any unlawful involvement with Novartis, reminding that he participated in a group medical study in 2009 that was commissioned by the company, receiving 1,000 euros for his role, complete with an invoice and citation in the study.
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