Novartis: The Greek Supreme Court's move to ask for evidence on protected witnesses from the US justice authorities raises questions

It is a move without an impact, which raises a lot of questions about the intentions hidden behind, made by the Deputy Public Prosecutors of the Supreme Court who are examining the complaints made by another Deputy public prosecutor,

Mr. Angelis, against the Chief Prosecutor for Corruption, Eleni Touloupaki, regarding breaches of procedure in the preliminary investigation of the Novartis scandal.

The two Deputy Prosecutors of the Supreme Court, Evangelos Zaharis and Lambros Sofoulakis, who are not examining the substance of the scandal, given that this investigation is being undertaken by the Prosecutors for Corruption, sent an official request to the Ministry of Justice of the United States. They asked more or less to get handed in the witnesses who are under American protection regarding the Novartis scandal, in what it is considered a move solely to impress.

Despite the fact that they are in a position to know better than anyone that the American authorities are conducting an investigation solely against the pharmaceutical company and that at no circumstances would the latter reveal any information or the testimonies of the witnesses under protection, the two Deputy Prosecutors are asking from the American authorities:

To let them know as soon as possible whether they have examined the three witnesses who are under protection in Greece -the one of whom has stepped out of protection- regarding the Novartis scandal. If this is the case, they are asking to be sent copies of their testimonies and to know whether the witnesses received any monetary benefits under the American law and what amounts exactly. They also want to know whether the witnesses were anticipating this kind of benefits in the first place and whether other witnesses have been examined in the same case. In that occasion, they are asking for copies of their testimonies too. Finally, they want to get information on the course of the American authorities' investigation, whether they have completed it and what the outcome was.

With this at least paradoxical move, given that they also happen to investigate the Novartis scandal, it is as if the two Deputy Public Prosecutors of the Supreme Court are admitting that they are not aware of what applies for the witnesses under protection in the US, who in no circumstance will they be ever exposed in the way they have been exposed in Greece. It is certain that the reply they receive from the US will not satisfy their demands.

In the meantime, as it has already become evident from the documentary of the Swiss journalists regarding the scandal, the American authorities do not have the same witnesses under protection, apart from one who, according to some sources, has allegedly spoken both to the Greek authorities and the FBI.

It must not be seen as a coincidence that this development came just one day after documentonews.gr disclosed the report of Mrs. Touloupaki and her two assistant prosecutors, in which they are claiming that the former protected witness and current defendant, Nikos Maniadakis, had told them the following: the Governor of the Bank of Greece, Yannis Stournaras, along with two politicians had threatened him by saying that when the new government came into office they would bring down both the witnesses and the prosecutors in the case.

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