The Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has begun taking a fresh series of depositions from protected witnesses in the Novartis investigation, this time regarding kickbacks received by doctors and others who are not politicians.

One of the protected witnesses, who was deposed, offered supplementary testimony, with new evidence, but it is unclear whether that implicated politicians, who cannot be prosecuted under the current statute of limitations on ministerial responsibility.

If the names of politicians appear in the new testimony, then it will be sent to parliament, which must decide on whether or not to lift their parliamentary immunity.

Allegations of 300 more bribe-taking doctors

Meanwhile, sources told Ta Nea that during a raid ordered by prosecutors at Novartis’ Athens offices produced a list of 300 doctors who allegedly took bribes of between 1000-5,000 euros between January, 2016, and January, 2017.

That is above and beyond the more than 4,000 doctors who allegedly received “gifts” from Novartis over the last years.

Evidence collected to date in the prosecutors’ probe of non-political figures suggests that public sector losses from the overpricing of hospital pharmaceuticals are many times more than the initial estimates of three billion euros.

Mina Moustaka

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