Greek parliament passes pharma probe over to judiciary

Greece's parliament has voted to hand over to the judiciary an investigation into 10 prominent politicians over allegations of involvement in a pharmaceutical bribery scandal.

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. Lawmakers who voted decided that parliament was not competent to probe the allegations.

The move follows an initial judicial investigation into bribes Swiss drugmaker Novartis allegedly paid to boost the sales and prices of its products in Greece.

The politicians to be investigated include two former prime ministers and the current central bank governor. All deny wrongdoing, accusing the government of trying to smear them and to pervert the course of justice.