Prosecutors defend investigation into Novartis bribery case

Prosecutors involved in the investigation into the alleged bribery of top politicians and doctors by the Swiss drugmaker Novartis pushed back against news reports questioning the witness protection program and the alleged talks between government officials and prosecutors, saying they have followed the law.

“We have adhered to the letter of the law,” the head of the corruption prosecutor’s office Eleni Touloupaki and prosecutors Christos Ntzouras and Stelios Manolis, who are handling the case, said in a joint statement.

“We never participated in a joint meeting with the government spokesman or any other government official on the Novartis case. The witnesses were placed into the protection status, adhering strictly to the letter of the law. The part of the case file that involves politicians was submitted to the Supreme Court prosecutor’s office, as we are obliged to do by the Constitution,” they added.

The prosecutors also said the Greek investigation into Novartis is taking place in parallel and not jointly with that of other states.