SDOE finds rel­a­tives of ex-min­is­ter hid mil­lions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The coun­try’s fi­nan­cial crimes squad (SDOE) yes­ter­day sub­mit­ted to a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­gat­ing for­mer Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou over the po­lit­i­cal han­dling of the so-called La­garde list of rich Greek savers a re­port in­di­cat­ing that four of the ex-min­is­ter’s rel­a­tives on the list had failed to de­clare more than 6 mil­lion eu­ros in in­come.

Mean­while, the com­mit­tee sum­moned Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou to ap­pear for tes­ti­mony on Mon­day af­ter pro­vid­ing his lawyer with the rel­e­vant case file, as re­quested by the ex-min­is­ter.

The long-awaited re­port by SDOE con­cluded that the four rel­a­tives of Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou had failed to de­clare a to­tal of 6.3 mil­lion eu­ros in as­sets in re­cent years. The ex-min­is­ter is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for vi­o­la­tion of duty and doc­tor­ing a doc­u­ment af­ter pros­e­cu­tors found that the names of his rel­a­tives had been re­moved from the orig­i­nal La­garde list, named af­ter the for­mer French fi­nance min­is­ter and cur­rent In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund chief, Chris­tine La­garde.

The bulk of the as­sets that are al­leged to have been un­de­clared – some 4.5 mil­lion eu­ros – have been con­nected to bank ac­counts in the names of Eleni Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou, the ex-min­is­ter’s first cousin, and that of her hus­band Symeon Sykiaridis, ac­cord­ing to sources. The re­main­ing amount was traced to the ac­counts of Ma­rina Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou, an­other cousin of the ex-min­is­ter, and her hus­band An­dreas Ros­so­nis.

SDOE’s find­ings are to be pe­rused by the cross-party par­lia­men­tary in­quiry prob­ing Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou. The com­mit­tee, whose ses­sions since Jan­uary have been marred by ve­he­ment dis­putes be­tween ri­val law­mak­ers, was to con­vene late last night to ex­am­ine the contents of SDOE’s re­port along with other ev­i­dence.

The com­mit­tee was ex­pected to call the ex-min­is­ter’s rel­a­tives to sub­mit fresh tes­ti­mony to­day. In pre­vi­ous writ­ten de­po­si­tions, the rel­a­tives had in­sisted that their in­come has been prop­erly taxed.

Last week, Par­lia­ment voted to broaden the in­quiry and in­ves­ti­gate Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou on charges of breach of trust af­ter the in­quiry found that he failed to record re­ceipt of a CD con­tain­ing the list of names from French au­thor­i­ties.

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