NEWS

No political angle to bond probe

No members of the government have been implicated in the investigation into the sale of a Greek government bond to four pension funds earlier this year, the officials heading up the inquiry yesterday. Claims that New Democracy politicians had been found to be in some way responsible for the transaction, which proved damaging for the pension funds, surfaced over the weekend. Clearly, with less than a month to go until the general election, such a development could have a serious impact on the poll results. However, the man who led the inquiry, Giorgos Zorbas (the head of the committee on money laundering) as well as the head of the Athens Appeals Prosecutor’s office to whom he submitted his report, Giorgos Koliocostas, said yesterday that the reports were not true. Zorbas said that alleged information that politicians in the Economy and Finance Ministry had been named as being culpable in his investigation were «not true.» Koliocostas also denied claims he had sent the report to Parliament for scrutiny, saying that he had instead forwarded it to appeals magistrate Giorgos Lekkas, who will determine if anyone should be charged over the bond deal. «I have taken all the actions foreseen by both the law and my conscience,» said Koliocostas. «I did not send the report to Parliament but to appeals magistrate Lekkas.» In his 30-page report, which has not yet been made public, Zorba identifies four criminal offenses but does not make any conjecture as to who committed them, according to sources. The offer made by investment bank JP Morgan to repurchase from the four pension funds the 280-million-euro bond at the center of the scandal has yet to be carried out.