Greece’s parliament decided it was not competent to probe the allegations against 10 prominent politicians, including two former prime ministers, over the alleged scandal involving bribes by Swiss drugmaker Novartis.
Lawmakers decided my a secret ballot that the parliament has no jurisdiction to investigate the role of the politicians and voted to hand the case over to the judiciary.
All opposition parties — with the exception of the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn — refused to participate in the vote late Friday, following a long and tense debate.
The Novartis case has polarized politics after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had urged parliament to investigate the case.
But, an investigating committee, dominated by lawmakers from his own Syriza party, subsequently decided it had no jurisdiction last month.
Former Prime Ministers Antonis Samaras and Panagiotis Pikrammenos and former ministers Dimitris Avramopoulos, Andreas Loverdos, Andreas Lykourentzos, Marios Salmas, Spyridon-Adonis Georgiadis, Yannis Stournaras, Evangelos Venizelos, Georgios Koutroumanis were all accused for bribery and money laundering.
All deny wrongdoing, accusing the government of trying to smear them and to pervert the course of justice.