Papaconstantinou to stand trial as judges rule Lagarde list charges have not expired

A council of judges has ruled that the charges levelled against former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou in connection to the alleged tampering of a list containing the names of Greeks with deposits in Switzerland have not expired under the statute of limitations.

The judges convened at the Supreme Court on Saturday to arrive at their decision, which means that Papaconstantinou will now stand trial in a special court. He is accused of removing from the so-called Lagarde list the names of four of his relatives who had savings at an HSBC bank branch in Geneva.

Papaconstantinou, who was finance minister when Greece signed its first bailout agreement in May 2010, be indicted on charges of breach of faith, violation of duty and doctoring a document.

The judges ruled that Papaconstantinou 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.

The panel found that the Parliament formed following the first of two successive elections in the summer of 2012, on May 6, cannot be deemed as having operated normally as it convened for just a day.