The Greek government announced that it will set up a parliamentary investigative committee to look into potential involvement of political figures in the Novartis corruption scandal.
Names dragged through the spotlight include current EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, former New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and current Bank of Greece governor Yiannis Stournaras.
Government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said during a television interview on Saturday that he believes junior coalition government partner, the Independent Greeks (ANEL) will support the proposal as the parliamentary committee is the only competent body to decide whether or not the offenses mentioned in the Novartis file and allegedly committed by political figures are time-barred and whether there are sufficient indications for criminal prosecution.
Tzanakopoulos criticised politicians who called the protected witnesses “hooded” individuals, saying this name-calling aims at creating impressions, and wondered why politicians allegedly involved in the case want to have preferential treatment before the law. He also said the anonymous status of witnesses can only be lifted through a court order.
“Greek justice, as all judicial systems, has mechanisms to check the credibility of witnesses,” he added.