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Greek commissioner wants anonymous witnesses identified in Novartis case

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration and home affairs, said he will file a..

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration and home affairs, said he will file a lawsuit at the Greek Supreme Court asking for the protected witnesses who have accused him of taking bribes from Novartis to be identified.

“No hood and no shaming will cast shadow on my face. It is a matter of moral order and dignity,” Avramopoulos said during a press conference today from the European Commission’s office in Athens, according to Greek media.

The commissioner, who was health minister in Greece between 2006 and 2009, was accused by anonymous witnesses of taking bribes from Swiss drugmaker Novartis in exchange for buying some of its cancer drugs at prices much higher than the market value.

“It is conspiracy, unbelievable lies [that] do not bear the characteristics of a witness testimony so that it can be evaluated,” Avramopoulos said. “They have the obvious purpose of guiding my slander and defamation,” he said.

The commissioner said he regretted “the public debate is monopolized by an affair that has all the characteristics of a scourge.”

He also said he would bring the issue to the attention of the EU institutions as a matter of protecting the rule of law in Greece, Iefimerida reported.

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