NEWS

Ex-minister probed by financial crimes squad kills himself

Former Deputy Interior Minister Leonidas Tzanis, whose name is on a list of 36 politicians and public officials being probed by the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), was found dead at his home in Volos, central Greece, on Thursday. Tzanis reportedly hung himself.

Tzanis, a lawyer by trade, was elected as an MP in 1993, 1996, 2000 and 2004. He served as deputy interior minister between February 1999 and October 2001. He was married with two children. Tzanis?s body was found in the basement of his house by his wife.

Tzanis?s name is one of 36 on a list of public figures being investigated for a range of alleged corruption-related offenses, including tax evasion and illegal earnings. It was not clear what Tzanis was being probed for.

A number of high-profile politicians, including Parliament Speaker Evangelos Meimarakis, are on the list. Prosecutors are examining whether any of the suspects being probed should face charges.

Meimarakis returned to Parliament on Thursday and said that the House would ask for details of some 2,000 Greeks who were on another list, one containing the names of people with accounts in the Geneva branch of HSBC totaling nearly 1.5 billion euros. The data are at the center of a political row after it emerged that authorities had been in possession of the information since 2010 but failed to act.

In a separate development, the Finance Ministry said that it will be sending out over the next few days letters to some 15,000 Greeks who were found to have moved money abroad without declaring it to local tax authorities. Some 5 billion euros was not declared and the government hopes to collect 2.25 billion euros from the 15,000 depositors.

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