As public opinion is grappling with the trustworthiness of a protected witness in the Novartis investigation – National School of Public Health Professor Nikos Maniadakis, who initially named ministers and a former PM who allegedly broke the law, but then reportedly attempted to flee the country as he faces felony charges – Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis unleashed an unprecedented attack on specific prosecutors regarding the way they have handled high-profile corruption cases relating to the health sector.
Polakis – who in October, 2018, stirred a political maelstrom when he told his party’s Central Committee that SYRIZA must push for the imprisonment of some people accused of corruption in order to win the next election – posted an extensive commentary on his Facebook wall in which he attacks by name prosecutors and investigating magistrates handling the Novartis affair.
Firstly, Polakis targeted the Corruption Investigating Magistrate, Matina Bozinou, whom he lambasted for not summoning as a witness and possibly remanding in custody the former VP of Novartis Hellas, Konstantinos Frouzis.
Secondly, he blasts Corruption Prosecutor Maria Louisa Ioannidou for not summoning former employees of KEEELPNO (the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) for interrogation and “possible remanding in custody”. Polakis refers to these employees as a criminal “gang”.
Thirdly, Polakis attacks Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor and Head of the Anti-Money Laundering Authority Anna Zairi for not having completed the review of the declared assets (pothen eshes) of members of the “KEELPNO Gang”.
Fourthly, the minister attacks Anti-Corruption Prosecutors Nikos Polykretis and Konstantinos Kountrias, whom he denounces for not having completed the preliminary investigation in a case involving Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras.
Polakis’ latest Facebook post has been roundly criticised by opposition parties for trampling on the separation of powers and for essentially doing the dirty work on behalf of the PM in smear campaigns against SYRIZA’s political enemies and unfriendly judicial functionaries.