Former minister Loverdos declines to testify in Novartis parliamentary committee

Former minister Andreas Loverdos said he will not appear to testify before the preliminary investigation committee on the Novartis case, in a letter he sent to Parliament on Wednesday explaining his decision.

The investigation committee is looking into potential liability of two former prime ministers and eight former ministers in relation to alleged bribery and money laundering involving Novartis pharmaceuticals. On Tuesday, members of the opposition parties walked out of the committee meeting in protest when the ruling majority MPs decided to ask testifying politicians to weigh in on the committee’s role.

In his letter to the committee chairman, Loverdos said among other things, “Following your refusal to invite the hooded pseudo-witnesses – whose testimony has been cited by the government centrally and at its upper echelons and is still cited for the so-called substantiation of despicable slander – the ruling majority’s clear intention to defame its political opponents and then to immediately cover up the case has become evident on a national level.”

Loverdos said he will appear to testify only if the committee decides to fulfil its constitutional role.