Novartis: Bribery allegations against 10 former Greek ministers

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis is at the centre of the investigation

Greek prosecutors have named eight former ministers and two former prime ministers in connection with a major corruption investigation.

Investigators allege the pharmaceutical company Novartis paid doctors to prescribe its drugs at high prices.

Prosecutors said the former politicians received bribes, but did not name them.

Those allegedly involved held office from 2006-2015. Novartis said it is cooperating with the investigation.

Prosecutors believe the alleged price-fixing could have cost the state billions during a financial crisis which imposed hardship on many families.

AMNA news agency reported that about €50m (£43m) was paid to politicians, and said the prosecutor's case included testimony from 20 people.

Greek media has named those allegedly linked to the investigation, all of who have denied knowledge or involvement in the scheme.

Among them are former prime minister Antonis Samaras (2012-2015) and caretaker prime minister Panagiotos Pikramenos (May-June 2012).

Mr Samaras told the Associated Press the allegations were "slander" and he would file a lawsuit against the sitting prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, in response.

The Greek parliament has now been given a case file containing details of the investigation to decide if the former ministers should be prosecuted.


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