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Testimony suggests the intervention of George Papandreou and Evangelos Venizelos in the “Lagarde List” case

28 March 2013 / 15:03:31  GRReporter
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The investigation of the “Lagarde List” case has taken an unexpected turn due to the testimony of the former head of the service fighting financial crimes, Ioannis Diotis. The prosecutor, who admitted in his previous testimony that he had deleted the data from the flash memory stick sent to him by the Finance Minister at the time, George Papakonstantinou, has presented to the commission his e-mail correspondence with him.

The e-mails dated 7 July 2011 show that Diotis and Papakonstantinou, who in the meantime had been transferred to the Ministry of Environment, not only were still connected with the case, but the latter was informing Prime Minister George Papandreou about the developments associated with it.

This changes the situation because according to the information available to date, the Finance Minister at the time had informed the former Prime Minister twice. Once when the information about the existence of the list appeared and again - when it was received in Paris in the autumn of 2010.

However, the dialogues with Ioannis Diotis, that the former head of the service fighting financial crimes has presented to the investigative commission, indicate the opposite.

At 10:06 am on 7 July 2011, Diotis wrote in his e-mail to Papakonstantinou, “Thank you for the invitation. I am sorry that I was unable to come due to some circumstances, despite my desire to do so. I believe you had a nice evening.”

Ten minutes later, George Papakonstantinou sent a reply from his i-pad, “Don’t mention it Yiannis. I'll call you to talk.”

No other message followed, but at 1:26 pm, the former Finance Minister sent another e-mail, this time from his mobile phone, “We really had a good time, Yiannis! It was too bad that you could not come. Did you get the flash memory stick that I have sent you?”

Half an hour later, at 1:56 pm, Ioannis Diotis replied, “Yes, I got it, but I have not yet been able to check its contents. We have already talked (with Kostas) to trigger the inspection and the further processing. Has one been made already?”

Two hours later, Papakonstantinou wrote, “Who is Kostas? Yes, I had given it to Yiannis Kap (obviously, he means Ioannis Kapeleris - Ioannis Diotis’ predecessor at the service fighting financial crimes - author's note) to investigate around 30 of them. I also want to remind you of the other issue that was submitted to the prosecution.”

Five minutes later, Ioannis Diotis sent the following reply, which raises many questions, “Bikas (i.e. Kostas Bikas – the head of the National Intelligence Service at the time, author’s note) told me that you had talked and that he had spoken with Prime (obviously meaning Prime Minister - author's note). I will see Kostas tomorrow.”

A minute later, he sent an additional e-mail, “I am following the other issue.”

George Papakonstantinou replied at 3:17 pm, “Yes, we talked. He told him that you had the data. The other issue  is detained and I am wondering ...”

After presenting the correspondence, the head of the parliamentary commission Christos Markoyianakis said that its members have long been planning to invite former Prime Minister George Papandreou to testify in the case.

It is expected that he could be called after the testimony of Kostas Bikas. Christos Markoyianakis did not exclude the possibility of him being ordered to be taken to the investigative commission.

Meanwhile, Ioannis Diotis told journalists that he had not presented the correspondence during the previous interrogation because he was keeping it for his defensive strategy.

A day later, he placed a new "bomb", this time indicating the intervention of PASOK’s leader and successor to George Papakonstantinou in the Ministry of Finance, Evangelos Venizelos, in this case.

In his new testimony, Ioannis Diotis said that he had submitted the flash memory stick on 8 July 2011, thus questioning the words of the leader of PASOK, who had said earlier that he had received it in August, i.e. a month later. In his testimony, Ioannis Diotis states, “After the meeting, which was held on the morning of 8 July at the Ministry of Finance, I met with Mr. Venizelos here in parliament. It is possible that I had given him the flash memory stick that day.”

He added that his meeting with the Finance Minister at the time and present leader of PASOK took place at 4:30 pm, whereas the actual examination indicates that the data on the flash memory stick were copied to other media at 3:00 pm.

Diotis’ testimony is raising the question of who had opened the flash memory stick earlier in the day, because according to the examination, two files in it were opened at 09:20 am.

PASOK reacted angrily to the findings, stressing that Ioannis Diotis was changing his testimony every time he appeared before the investigative commission. Sources from the party claim that he has discredited himself by making mutually exclusive statements. "He said at first that the flash memory stick had not reached him, and then he said that he had had it for a while and that he had given it in July and now, he is saying that this happened in August. Let him first decide which of these statements is true and then, he should explain the purpose of the various statements," party sources stress.

Tags: PoliticsLagarde ListParliamentary commissionIoannis DiotisGeorge PapakonstantinouGeorge PapandreouEvangelos Venizelos
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