Ex-minister asks for more time in probe

Ex-Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou has asked for several weeks to study the documents that have piled up in the parliamentary investigation into whether he doctored the Lagarde list of Greek depositors in Switzerland.

Through his lawyer, Papaconstantinou asked to be allowed until August 10 to prepare for questioning by the panel of MPs. He had been due to face the lawmakers on Monday.

The former minister argued that the case file, which runs to some 19,400 pages, requires more time to be studied carefully.

If the committee refuses to grant the extension Papaconstantinou wants, he is free to not appear before the panel. The investigation would then be wrapped up without his contribution.

The financial crimes squad (SDOE) on Monday submitted to the committee a report indicating that four of the ex-minister’s relatives on the list had failed to declare more than 6 million euros. Papaconstantinou denies removing their names from the list so they would not be investigated for tax evasion.