Authorities raid home of former protected witness in Novartis case; house empty

Anticorruption prosecutors and police on Thursday raided the home of professor Nikos Maniadakis, formerly a protected witness and now one of the suspects in the Novartis case, looking for evidence of illegal money transfers.

According to sources, the raid was related to a criminal prosecution ordered against Maniadakis for allegedly receiving 120,000 euros in bribes from Novartis. Prosecutors came up empty, however, since the house had been completely cleared out and contained nothing.

Sources at the appeals court said that this had been largely expected by investigators, while noting that the “empty house” confirmed suspicions that the “professor was preparing to flee abroad”.

Maniadakis is now due to appear before a justices’ council, which must decide whether a prosecutors’ order forbidding him to leave the country should remain in force.

In statements to Skai TV on Wednesday, Maniadakis denied the charges, saying that they were based on the deposition of one of the other two protected witnesses, whose identity he knows through an administrative error.