SDOE finds relatives of ex finance minister hid millions

The country’s financial crimes squad (SDOE) on Monday submitted to a parliamentary committee investigating former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou over the political handling of the so-called Lagarde list of rich Greek savers a report indicating that four of the ex-minister’s relatives on the list had failed to declare more than 6 million euros in income.

Meanwhile, the committee summoned Papaconstantinou to appear for testimony on Monday after providing his lawyer with the relevant case file, as requested by the ex-minister.

The long-awaited report by SDOE concluded that the four relatives of Papaconstantinou had failed to declare a total of 6.3 million euros in assets in recent years. The ex-minister is being investigated for violation of duty and doctoring a document after prosecutors found that the names of his relatives had been removed from the original Lagarde list, named after the former French finance minister and current International Monetary Fund chief, Christine Lagarde.

The bulk of the assets that are alleged to have been undeclared – some 4.5 million euros – have been connected to bank accounts in the names of Eleni Papaconstantinou, the ex-minister’s first cousin, and that of her husband Symeon Sykiaridis, according to sources. The remaining amount was traced to the accounts of Marina Papaconstantinou, another cousin of the ex-minister, and her husband Andreas Rossonis.

SDOE’s findings are to be perused by the cross-party parliamentary inquiry probing Papaconstantinou. The commitee, whose sessions since January have been marred by vehement disputes between rival lawmakers, was to convene late last night to examine the contents of SDOE’s report along with other evidence.

The committee was expected to call the ex-minister’s relatives to submit fresh testimony today. In previous written depositions, the relatives had insisted that their income has been properly taxed.

Last week, Parliament voted to broaden the inquiry and investigate Papaconstantinou on charges of breach of trust after the inquiry found that he failed to record receipt of a CD containing the list of names from French authorities.