NEWS

Ex-SDOE chief admits to second copy of Lagarde list

A day after admitting he had given a parliamentary inquiry the wrong information, the former head of Greece’s Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), Yiannis Diotis, insisted on Wednesday that he was under the impression the electronic version of the Lagarde list of depositors he received in the summer of 2011 would not be used as official evidence in any legal action against tax evaders.

Diotis is being questioned as part of a parliamentary investigation into whether former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou doctored the list of more than 2,000 Greeks with savings at the Geneva branch of HSBC in order to remove the names of his relatives.

The ex-SDOE chief has told MPs that he received a copy of the list on a USB device from Papaconstantinou in June 2011. On Wednesday, he claimed that the ex-finance minister did not suggest that the list, obtained from the French government via an ex-HSBC employee, would be used in an official capacity. Papaconstantinou has been criticized for not officially recording receipt of the list when it was sent by French authorities.

Diotis came under pressure after admitting late on Tuesday that he had made an extra copy of the list that he had not admitted to until now. The ex-SDOE chief had insisted he made only one copy of the memory stick before destroying the original. However, he admitted on Tuesday that he had made a second copy, which he accessed on January 16, 2012 and then destroyed.

SYRIZA argued that the copies were made because data on the original CD, which has been lost, could not be altered. The leftists suggest that government officials wanted to doctor the information on the Lagarde list.