My case has gone back to Larisa and will soon be assigned to a prosecutor, I was told today.
I have offered to withdraw the charges against the state prosecutors and judges as well as the local police if at least some of the lower ranking culprits are prosecuted this time round, and within a reasonable time frame.
And I would like to take this opportunity to warn the readers of my blog, Alexis Tsipras and George Soros, as well as the Bishop of Volos and other culprits to keep their fingers off my case this time around.
All their efforts failed spectacularly the last time around, and if they try anything again, they are going to be in for massive trouble. If I get any wind of any interference, I will slap more charges against them.
Frankly, Tsipras and Soros and their aides should count themselves lucky, and be very grateful, indeed, to Larisa prosecutors if they manage to avoid jail for their role in all this.
Larisa justice officials are a tight knit network and if they act shoulder to shoulder, then they will be a formidable force and be able to emerge from all this with a clean record.
But the reality is, the prosecutors are up against a network of powerful criminals, and need protection.
Prosecutor Eleni Raikou, who was investigating a bribery scandal involving Novartis, resigned last month, saying she was being targeted by “unofficial power centres” and was given insufficient institutional protecton against a dirty tricks campaign.
Raikou said she “refused to be sacrificed on the altar of the interests of corrupt state officials and the big pharma, who…did not hesitate to plan my moral extermination so that they might be able to demolish our investigation.”
Novartis is under investigation for paying possibly thousands of Greek doctors and officials to prescribe illegal drugs, which were not proven to be safe or effective.
So, the Novartis corruption case involves not just huge extra costs for a de facto bankrupt country but potential health risks to Greek people.
In another scandal, “Depuy”, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giants “Johnson & Johnson”, paid 11.6 billion euros in bribes through a network of offshore companies, to Greek doctors in 109 public hospitals, which again ultimately resulted in huge extra costs to the Greek tax payer.
Since the Larisa prosecutors are unlikely to get sufficient institutional protection when they go up against the powerful network implicated in my case, I would like to take the opportunity to advise them to get together and work out a mutual protection and communication pact as well as solidarity measures.
If any entity tries to smear or target any particular prosecutor or judge, for example, the rest of them could pledge to immediately come together and slap charges against any such entity for bribery, blackmail, extortion, intimidation whatever from every possible angle.
They also need to be prepared for repeated acts of aggression. Every such act has to be met with a double, triple show of force to make it clear to the perpetrators that intimidation will not pay.
They should also ask the Areios Pagos, and judges associations for help.
In addition, they have the nuclear option of being able to charge, on the basis of the evidence already supplied by me, Alexis Tsipras, George Soros and high ranking government officials in the ministery of interior, if they are targetted.
Above all, they have to avoid a situation where prosecutors and judges can be picked off one by one. Any pressures, dirty tricks, threats against their careers etc should be shared immediately with colleagues, the Areios Pagos and judge’s association, and legal action taken in concert to punish the perpetrators.
Long term, Greece needs a more independent judicial systems where prosecutors feel safe from all pervasive intimidation.
I heard, for example, of a powerful local Nea Dimokratia politician who threatened to ruin the career of a professor at a Larisa medical faculty after the prof caught his daughter cheating during exams. The professor caved in and gave the politician’s daughter the top mark, thereby paving the way for yet another corrupt, opportunistic doctor to eventually take over some hospital or other and milk her position for all it’s worth.
If professors are not threatened, then they are bribed.
Recently, students were caught paying bribes to pass their exams at Thessaloniki medical university, I was told.
Corruption is a huge problem in every area of life, but Greeks don’t necessarily see it that way.
My own mother, for instance, caught the son of a multi millionaire cheating when she worked as a teacher at the American school in Vienna. The parents immediately demanded the director fire her. The director called my mother in and pressured her to give the boy (the parents were very, very rich and donated lots of money to the school) a better mark. She told him he could fire her if he wished to. She would not tolerate cheating in her class room. It demoralised the other students, lowered standards and ultimately would lead to fewer students passing the test to get into schools like Harvard and Yale, and that was most of the parents paid the huge fees for.
The result? My Mum was promoted to deputy director, and later offered a scholarship at Columbia University so that she could qualifty to be made director, something she turned down as she had no interest in the position.
Now, I’m pretty sure a large number of teachers and directors in the USA and northern Europe would have reacted in exactly the same way because they recognize corruption is self defeating in the long term. Whatever donations the school may have received in the short term for firing my mother by one set of parents would have been far outweighed by the loss in reputation and parents’ fees if standards dived and too many kids failed competitive Ivy League college exams.
It would be nice if the Areios Pagos took a leaf out of the director’s book and actually rewarded Larisa judges if they do a good job this time round as an encouragement to others.
Anyway, let’s see what happens with my case this time round, as it finally gets on track two years after the original crimes.