NEWS

Panel investigating ex-FinMin over depositors’ list to get to work

A parliamentary committee that will investigate former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou over the alleged doctoring of the Lagarde list will comprise 13 members rather than 15 as had been expected after objections were raised on Monday about the composition of the panel, notably by the main leftist opposition party, SYRIZA.

The panel is to comprise five deputies from conservative New Democracy, three from leftist SYRIZA and one each from the remaining five parties in Parliament, it was agreed.

The parties are expected to appoint their deputies on Tuesday to allow the panel to get to work on a probe which is to be delivered to the House by February 25. The investigation is to focus on whether Papaconstantinou removed the names of three relatives from the Lagarde list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts. Originally the committee was to comprise 15 members with PASOK appointing two deputies and another deputy representing independent MPs. But objections were expressed to Parliament Speaker Vangelis Meimarakis, most vociferously by SYRIZA deputies with some calling for a 17-member panel. Parliament regulations state that committees must have 12 members but the large number of parties in Parliament prompted authorities to bend the rule.

Meanwhile, the judicial probe into the affair is continuing. Prosecutors on Monday granted an extension to an aide to former Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) chief Yiannis Diotis to prepare her testimony. Diotis claimed that lawyer Galateia Mane helped him copy the list from a memory stick he was given by Papaconstantinou to another flash drive in June 2011, adding that she then erased one of the memory sticks.