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:
- NY Times – Greece Approves Bribery Investigation Involving Political Elite
- Politico: Drugs scandal roils Greek politics
- FiercePharma: Greek prosecutors raid Novartis offices, disclose wide-ranging probe into bribery allegations
- Read more blogs about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act