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"Lagarde List" fiasco continues

05 July 2013 / 21:07:57  GRReporter
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After seven months of investigation and tough meetings of the commission to investigate the "Lagarde List", everything is about to fall apart. In the middle of the week, the commission had submitted its report containing the conclusions regarding the guilt of former Minister of Finance George Papakonstantinou in connection with the concealment and change in the list of names of potential tax dodgers. The problem is that the same independent commission had ignored 5 of the 13 members who do not belong to the parliamentary coalition and refused them access to the final version of the text.

"They refused to give us the report to consider and discuss it," Zoe Konstantinopoulou, who is a member of the commission but she was not informed of the content of the official document, told GRReporter. "We had to be persistent and, several times, to require the secretariat of the commission to submit the report to us. A commission that aims to uncover the truth has thoroughly violated the law," said the deputy who is indignant at the recent developments.

The deputies of SYRIZA involved in the investigating commission note serious violations in the procedure, which sought to conceal important facts of the investigation.

They agree with the charges of fraud during the performance of official duties to the degree of felony and of exceeding authority to the degree of criminal offence against Papakonstantinou, but their opinion relating to the nature of the charge of falsifying is different.

"The original device storing the list of the names of the persons with large sums deposited in HSBC is gone. Not only had Papakonstantinou deleted the names of his relatives from the list but he had also submitted another device as the source of the list in which the data of his cousins ​​no longer appeared. Therefore, the report should make it clear that this is a fraud and forgery," said a representative of the commission. According to representatives of the opposition, these circumstances will complicate the situation of the members of the former government and the parties in government want to avoid further investigation.

According to Zoe Konstantinopoulou and her fellow party members in the commission, the investigating authority must also address the responsibility of present Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos. According to them, the investigation, from January to today, has clearly shown the responsibility of Venizelos in an attempt to cover up the list of large Greek accounts in the Swiss bank.

"There are a number of open issues that need to be investigated. They are related to the joint actions of Papakonstantinou and former Secretary General of the Economic Police Yiannis Diotis, and probably to the violation of state obligations and further concealment of additional facts."

"Another problem that has not been addressed so far is the confiscation of all electronic devices of Evangelos Venizelos as it is believed that they can contain more evidence connected with the case," says Konstantinopoulou.

"If we exclude the charges in forgery, the charges that have to be raised against Venizelos do not differ from the charges against Papakonstantinou." According to SYRIZA, this means that the same procedure should be performed in the investigation of Venizelos’ responsibilities as regards the case. In addition, they are adamant that Venizelos should be held criminally liable in the period in which he was not Minister of Finance, namely March 2012 - October 2012, but when he had the list.

The representatives of the opposition who are involved in the commission insist on submitting the evidence to the prosecutor’s office which is investigating non-political persons in connection with the same case. The evidence and testimony must be also submitted to the economic police and the commission for investigation of the financial condition of deputies. Konstaninopoulou states that she has reasons to believe that the majority of the testimonies are not true and their validity must be confirmed by a civil investigation.

The deputies of SYRIZA are scandalized by the fact that nothing has yet been done to verify the origin of the money of the 2,058 persons on the list of HSBC bank which is the reason for the investigation of the former Minister of Finance.

"Not only had the governments of Papandreou and Papademos done anything to investigate the persons on the "Lagarde List" but the government of Antonis Samaras, at least so far, has not carried out any investigation of the case either," said Dritsas, who is also involved in the commission. He stresses that there are significant signs suggesting that the "Lagarde List" affair had started long before Papakonstantinou, but there is still not enough evidence of them.

Tags: PoliticsCrime newsPapakonstantinouLagarde List
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