Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou to face court

Ju­di­cial coun­cil rules for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter should be tried over La­garde list

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

For­mer Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou is to face a spe­cial court af­ter a coun­cil of judges ruled over the weekend that the charges lev­eled against him over his al­leged tam­per­ing with the so­called La­garde list of wealthy Greek savers have not ex­pired un­der the statute of lim­i­ta­tions.

The de­ci­sion makes Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou the first ex-min­is­ter to face a spe­cial court since 1989, when the so-called Kosko­tas scan­dal shook the then So­cial­ist gov­ern­ment. Ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment sub­mit­ted in Par­lia­ment by Jus­tice Min­is­ter Haris Athana­siou, 136 sim­i­lar case files had been sent to the House since 2009 but only Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou’s led to a spe­cial court. Athana­siou was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion by left­ist SYRIZA MP Zoe Con­stan­topoulou, who claimed “dozens of cases” con­cern­ing min­is­ter ac­count- abil­ity had been shelved.

Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou is ac­cused of re­mov­ing the names of three rel­a­tives from a list of Swiss bank ac­count-hold­ers given to him in May 2010 by Chris­tine La­garde, the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund head who was then France’s fi­nance min­is­ter.

Par­lia­ment voted last sum­mer to in­dict Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou on charges of breach of faith, vi­o­la­tion of duty and doc­tor­ing a doc­u­ment.

Over the weekend, a ju­di­cial coun­cil ruled that he is not pro­tected by the statue of lim­i­ta­tions, which dic­tates that of­fenses al­legedly com­mit­ted by ex-min­is­ters ex­pire if two par­lia­ments have sat since the of­fense. Ac­cord­ing to the panel, the par­lia­ment formed af­ter the first of two suc­ces­sive elec­tions in the spring of 2012 did not op­er­ate nor­mally as it con­vened for just a day.

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