Whistleblower & Qui Tam Blog

3
December 2019

International Whistleblower Lawyer Calls Out Greek Officials for Witness Intimidation in Novartis Case

Top whistleblower lawyer Stephen M. Kohn, a partner at the qui tam law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto (KKC), was recently interviewed by the Greek press concerning a letter KKC sent to Greek authorities. Kohn sent the letter last week to government officials in Greece and the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), demanding the Greek government stop its efforts to reveal the identities of the whistleblowers.

Kohn is the U.S. attorney for confidential clients who reported allegations of bribery by the pharmaceutical company Novartis to U.S. law enforcement. The anonymous Greek whistleblowers have since been threatened by Greek authorities, who have initiated proceedings to strip the whistleblowers of their confidentiality.

In Documento’s exclusive interview, Kohn explained how the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and several international anti-corruption conventions give his clients full protection and guarantee their confidentiality. He called out the Greek government’s efforts to unmask the whistleblowers as witness intimidation and obstruction of the U.S. investigation. Kohn said these efforts are “just an attempt to hide information.”

Kohn emphasized the long term importance of protecting the identities of the whistleblowers, stating:

“If the identity of the whistleblowers is revealed, there will be a tremendous impact for all witnesses, and the future for protected witnesses in Greece will be degraded. I t will be a dramatic setback for efforts to combat corruption. Protecting the identity of protected witnesses is the most important legal protection they have. If this is undermined, all their rights are sabotaged.”

Excerpt from Documento interview.

 

Read the translated version of the article: Novartis Scandal – Stephen Kohn: Stop Witness Intimidation (Interview)

Read the original article,: Σκάνδαλο Νovartis – Στίβεν Κον: Να σταματήσει ο εκφοβισμός των μαρτύρων (συνέντευξη)

Additional reading about the Novartis scandal:

 

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About the Whistleblower Blog

The Whistleblower Blog is an editorially independent news and information source, sponsored by a pro bono public service project by Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP. The blog highlights important news, legal developments and policy issues critical to whistleblowers and their advocates, both in the United States and internationally. The contributors to this blog are respected leaders in their fields, including the authors of key whistleblower law books, current and former legal professors, spokespersons before Congressional committees and other public bodies, directors of non-profit whistleblower advocacy groups, and prominent attorneys specializing in representing/assisting whistleblowers in the United States and throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

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