Parliament to receive Lagarde list in two weeks

It is likely to take up to two weeks for the Supreme Court to forward to Parliament a preliminary investigation into the handling of the so-called Lagarde List so that MPs can decide whether former finance ministers Giorgos Papaconstantinou and Evangelos Venizelos should face some form of inquiry over the failure to investigate the information relating to deposits in Swiss bank accounts.

Kathimerini understands that the information gathered by financial prosecutor Grigoris Peponis has been forwarded to the Supreme Court and, as is customary, is being examined by deputy prosecutor Nikos Pantelis, who will then pass on the findings to Parliament.

In his preliminary report, sources said, Peponis details how the information regarding some 2,000 Greeks with bank accounts at the Geneva branch of HSBC was passed by French authorities to the Greek government in 2010 so an investigation into any possible cases of tax evasion could take place. Papaconstantinou and Venizelos have both stated that they passed the data on to the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) but were told that the information could not be used to prosecute suspected tax evaders because it was obtained through illegal means.

Sources also said that Peponis has sent to Parliament the memory stick containing the list of depositors in the absence of the original list. The USB stick was provided by Venizelos when authorities were unable to locate the information last month. Greece has asked for the original version from Paris as there is uncertainty about whether the data has been altered. Sources said the list published by Hot Doc magazine last week was slightly different to the one in the hands of prosecutors.

Peponis is also set to decide in the next few days whether former SDOE chiefs Yiannis Kapeleris and Yiannis Diotis should face any charges. The prosecutor has already questioned the two men, as well as Papaconstantinou and Venizelos, as part of the investigation. Other SDOE officials and the former head of the National Intelligence Service, Constantinos Bikas, also testified during the preliminary investigation.

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