Charges filed over privatization fund property deal

Charges filed over privatization fund property deal

An anti-corruption prosecutor on Monday charged top officials at Greece’s privatization fund in connection to the sale of 28 state-owned buildings on 20-year leaseback deals.

Prosecutor Eleni Raikou investigated the property sales after private complaints and found enough evidence to charge the former president of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) Constantinos Maniatopoulos, the ex-managing director Yiannis Emiris and former executive director Andreas Taprantzis.

The former TAIPED officials are not facing breach of faith charges as the Fund’s charters gave them immunity from such prosecution but they have been charged with embezzlement due to failing to transfer promptly interest payments from the deal to a state account, leading to losses of some 100,000 euros.

Raikou also charged evaluators with valuing the properties at below their market price.

The deal with Eurobank Properties and Ethniki Pangaia was clinched for 261 million euros in 2013 and concluded in 2014 but the state suffered damages of between 580 and 600 million euros, according to the prosecutor’s 200-page report.

The investigation into the deal between TAIPED and the property firms was launched in December 2014 after a complaint by the Piraeus bar association.