March 1, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

NOVARTIS executives acquitted in bribery case; Doctors are now being blamed

Former executives from pharmaceutical company Novartis were acquitted on Monday on charges of bribing politicians and doctors based on a ruling by the Judges’ Council of the Minor Offenses Court.

The order officially ends the so-called “Novartis scandal” more than seven years after the legal investigation began, the state news agency said. amna.

However, the financial prosecutor’s office demanded that 15 doctors, under investigation for receiving money to prescribe Novartis products were prosecuted for taking bribes and money laundering based on the evidence found against them.

A panel of judges found Novartis Greece’s top management, Konstantinos Frouzis, Professor Nikos Maniadakis, and three executives from Novartis’ parent company, were not guilty of repeatedly bribing 10 politicians under investigation for taking bribes.

They decided to acquit the accused for lack of evidence against them.

Employees Novartis accused of bribing the leaders of the current ruling “New Democracy” – former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Acting Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, former Minister of Health Andreas Likourentsos, former Deputy Minister of Health Marios Salmas, former Minister of Finance Yiannis Sturnaras, former Minister of National Defense, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos. , former Minister of Labor Georgios Koutrumanis, former Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis, former Minister of Health Dimitris Avramopoulos and former Minister of Health Andreas Loverdos.

The five accused Novartis executives have also been cleared of non-political bribery charges as, following the Penal Code changes in 2019, this is now classified as a misdemeanor (!?) and the statute of limitations expires after a five-year period.

However, in relation to the doctors involved in the case, the financial prosecutor’s office asked the prosecutor’s office of the courts of first instance to initiate criminal cases against 15 persons under investigation based on the evidence found in relation to them, while the investigation of other doctors involved in the case is still ongoing.

Scandal of the decade in which it was about bribes to senior officials, leaked, turning million dollar bribes current members of the government in minor offenses with a statute of limitations of 5 years, shifting the blame on the doctors along the way.

Cynicism is on the rise: It means that the leaders did not give bribes, but the doctors took them – some kind of logic is too much. This is just for 1 term, the ND allowed themselves such actions in relation to the law. You can imagine when ND wins a second term, then they “the sea will be completely knee-deep” …

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