KKE withdraws from preliminary investigative committee on Novartis

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) withdrew from the special preliminary committee investigating the Novartis case of alleged bribery and money laundering on Friday, charging that the committee did not intend to go far enough in its investigation.
KKE had warned of withdrawing if the investigation did not go in depth and if the protected witnesses, key to the case, were not called to a committee hearing.
The committee “can and must examine all charges, including those whose statute of limitations has expired – as the unacceptable law on minister liability stipulates –  as well as all those issues that relate to the case, with no obstruction or excuse,” its representative on the committee, Nikos Karathanasopoulos said.
“Unfortunately, the (ruling coalition of) SYRIZA-ANEL are (now) discussing the issue of whether it is under the committee’s jurisdiction to judge the specific issues, and they are unfortunately supported by (main opposition) New Democracy and PASOK in this delay tactic,” he said.
Despite its withdrawal from the committee, the KKE will follow its work, he said, and if it changes its stance and starts investigating substantial issues in the case, including all witnesses, the party “rethink our position.”
Asked whether it seems from the meetings so far that the committee intends to wrap up its work after hearing all named politicians in the case, the KKE deputy said, “This is a rational assumption, since witnesses, facts and sources of this case will not be examined.”

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