NEWS

Ex-SDOE heads to answer over HSBC depositors’ list

Two former heads of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), Yiannis Kapeleris and Yiannis Diotis (photo), are to face prosecutors next week as suspects in an investigation into why a list of 1,991 Greeks with deposits at a Swiss bank was not probed for more than two years.

Financial prosecutors Grigoris Peponis and Spyros Mouzakitis are reportedly keen to seek explanations from the two SDOE chiefs as to why no use was made of the contents of a memory stick containing the depositors? names, acquired in 2010 by former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantiou from his French counterpart Christine Lagarde, now the head of the International Monetary Fund.

The fact that the current investigation is focusing on the SDOE chiefs does not mean that politicians are off the hook, court sources told Kathimerini. Papaconstantinou and his successor Evangelos Venizelos, currently the head of socialist PASOK, who passed on the list to authorities last month, are expected to be summoned over the coming days as part of the investigation.

Kapeleris has already testified before Peponis and before Parliament?s transparency committee, claiming to have been given not the entire list but a selection of 10 names from it by Papaconstantinou. He said that the then finance minister had asked him to check the suspects? ?profile,? not to investigate their finances, and said he had given the results of his search to Papaconstantinou.

As for Diotis, he is to testify for the first time before a prosecutor. In a recent appearance before a parliamentary committee he said he believed the list was unusable as it had been illegally obtained.

According to the financial prosecutors, however, the list is usable as it was handed to Papaconstantinou in an official capacity by his counterpart at the time, Lagarde. The Finance Ministry earlier this week asked its French equivalent to resend a copy of the memory stick given to Papaconstantinou amid concerns that the original version may have been tampered with over the years.