Greek Parliament Votes to Open Probe on Ex-Minister Over Novartis Case

Greek lawmakers voted on Tuesday to open a probe for a possible criminal investigation for ex-minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos in connection with the Novartis investigation.

The probe is to determine whether Papangelopoulos sought to incriminate political rivals of the leftist SYRIZA party by suggesting that they were paid bribes by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

The probe was supported by 173 MP’s from the ruling New Democracy and opposition Movement for Change parties, while 83 SYRIZA lawmakers voted against the motion.

Ex-Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused the government of making “a conscious attempt to criminalize political life” and seeking “revenge.”

Expressing his full support for Papangelopoulos, Tsipras said his former minister had been made a scapegoat “because he had the courage to highlight the Novartis scandal.”

Papangelopoulos, for his part, said that he would “transform my accusers into the accused,” describing his prosecution as “ridiculous.”