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The Papakonstantinou family is the prime suspect of four felonies

04 January 2013 / 20:01:06  GRReporter
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The relatives of the former Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou - Eleni Papakonstantinou, Simeon Sikiardis and Andreas Rossonis - are the prime suspects accused by prosecutors of four felonies and one violation. All charges are related to the attempts at removing their names from the now infamous "Lagarde List," which includes thousands of names of wealthy Greeks with accounts in the Swiss branch of HSBC.

The accusations are: inciting the forging of a public document, abuse against the state, money laundering and tax fraud that have harmed the public sector by over 150 thousand euro whereas the violation is related to the incitement to illegal activity.

The prosecutors have granted a delay until next week in order for the three accused to prepare their testimony. At the same time, George Papakonstantinou himself is expected to face the prosecutor to explain why and how the names of his cousin, her husband and the husband of another relative of his were removed from the list while he was at the head of the Ministry of Finance.

George Papakonstantinou firmly refuses to take the responsibility attached to him. "If the list has been changed especially by removing the names of my relatives, the judicial authorities will have to immediately investigate the case and find out who had the grounds to commit such a breach to incriminate me," he states for Ta Nea. He insists that he has no connection with the charges brought against him but has not yet presented evidence that would exculpate him. "I have nothing to do with this crime. It directly affects me in the way in which it is presented, because this is a case of intervention which is not in my favour," he continues, concluding his speech by saying that he does not intend to become a scapegoat of anyone.

The former minister denies having deleted the names from the "Lagarde List" personally and notes that the tax investigation, which he had ordered before leaving the office, was closed without an explanation. He does not name anyone but apparently transfers the responsibility for the "processing" of the list of names and bank accounts of wealthy Greeks to Evangelos Venizelos, who took over the Finance Ministry after him.

Corruption scandals in Greece have sprung up like mushrooms after rain with the deepening of the crisis. So far, the justice fails to convincingly enact the law, which is increasing the public pressure to unravel the "Lagarde List" case. The prevailing public opinion is that the most violent offenders in Greece always remain unpunished and people want justice this time. It is not yet known whether George Papakonstantinou is the scapegoat of the political system that wants to conceal other violations of the recent past or if he is indeed guilty of concealing the undeclared funds of his relatives.

According to the latest data presented by the Sunday edition of Ethnos, Papakonstantinou states that he knows who changed the "Lagarde List". No names have been specified yet but the former minister is determined to prove his innocence.

Tags: EconomyMarketsPapakonstantinouLagarde ListCorruptionGreece
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