Top supreme court prosecutor cleared of charge related to controversial Novartis probe

Supreme court deputy prosecutor Yannis Angelis, a former inspector of the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office, on Wednesday was acquitted of a charge of dereliction of duty, a case emanating from the long-drawn out and ineffective investigation over allegations of Novartis kickbacks to 10 Greek politicians.

The acquittal was handed down by an Athens appellate council of justices.

The allegation against Angelis was that he failed to accept “evidence” related to a relative of one of the 10 politicians implicated by the still anonymous witnesses. The allegation referred to evidence offered “verbally” by US justice department officials during a meeting with Greek prosecutors in Vienna in 2018.

That meeting, which was attended by former top anti-corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki, concerned a then high-profile and politically charged Novartis kickbacks investigation in Greece, and a corresponding one in the United States.

Touloupaki and her associates vigorously investigated the claims by three anonymous witnesses against 10 current and previous office-holders for years. Nevertheless, no charges or even indications of wrongdoing were ever presented, let alone filed by her office. The political opposition to the SYRIZA government at the time vociferously pointed to a “judicial conspiracy” aimed impugning the reputation of the then leftist government’s main opponents and critics.

The acquittal comes after a not guilty recommendation by the prosecutor in the case.