Ex-finance chief bailed in Lagarde list court case

Ex-Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou was released on bail on Thursday after appearing before a special judge who has been assigned to rule on whether the former PASOK politician is guilty of doctoring the so-called Lagarde list of depositors.

Special magistrate Iosif Tsalaganidis released Papaconstantinou after questioning on the condition that he paid 30,000 euros bail and report at his local police precinct once a month.

The ex-minister is accused of removing the names of four relatives from the Lagarde list, which included more than 2,000 Greeks with deposits at the Geneva branch of HSBC. The head of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), Theodoros Floratos, said last week that some 500 of the 2,063 people on the list have been checked for tax violations.

A SDOE report last year concluded that Papaconstantinou’s four relatives – Eleni Papaconstantinou, the ex-minister’s first cousin, and her husband Symeon Sykiaridis, as well as Marina Papaconstantinou, another cousin of the ex-minister, and her husband Andreas Rossonis – had failed to declare a total of 6.3 million euros in assets in recent years.

Parliament voted last year to lift Papaconstantinou’s immunity so he could be indicted on charges of breach of faith, violation of duty and doctoring a document. The ex-finance minister denies any wrongdoing and told MPs that he was being made a “scapegoat” for being the finance minister when Greece signed its first bailout.