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Papakonstantinou's cousins found with €6.3m in undeclared assets

Money found in accounts belonging to former finance minister's cousins and spouses

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Undeclared assets found in the accounts of two of Papakonstantinou's cousins and their spouses, in an investigation by the Financial and Economic Crimes Unit (SDOE)

Yiorgos Papakonstantinou served as finance minister during negotiations for Greece's first international bailout in 2010 Yiorgos Papakonstantinou served as finance minister during negotiations for Greece's first international bailout in 2010 The tax authorities have found €6.3m in undeclared assets in the personal bank accounts of four relatives of former Pasok finance minister Yiorgos Papakonstantinou.

The money was found in the accounts of two of Papakonstantinou's first cousins and their spouses, in an investigation by the Financial and Economic Crimes Unit (SDOE), who looked at transactions from 1997 to 2011.

One cousin, Marina Papakonstantinou, and her husband Andreas Rousonis were found to have €193,499 and €1,457,210, in undeclared assets in their accounts. The amounts of €2,987,660 and €1,666,318 in undeclared cash were found in the accounts of another cousin, Eleni Papakonstantinou, and her husband Simeon Sikiaridis. 

The undeclared assests of the four amount to €6,304,687. Eleni and Marina Papakonstantinou are first cousins of the former Pasok minister and daughters of Michalis Papakonstantinou (1919-2010), a New Democracy MP who served as foreign minister from 1992 to 1993.

The audit of their accounts was ordered as part of a parliamentary investigation into the Lagarde list of suspected Greek tax evaders with accounts at a HSBC branch in Zurich. 

French authorities gave the list to the Greek governemnt in 2010, on the understanding that the information would be used to fight tax evasion.

But citng legal concerns, the Greek authorities failed to investigate the data, which came in the form of a memory stick.

Papakonstantinou, who served as finance minister between 2009 and 2011 and negotiated the country's first bailout agreement with the troika in 2010, is facing criminal breach-of-duty charges in relation to his role in the scandal. Among others, it is alleged that he had his cousins' names removed from the list. 

The findings of the audit were presented to the Christos Markogiannakis, chairman of the parliamentary committee, by two economic prosecutors, Grigoris Peponis and Spyros Mouzakitis
 
The findings will now be distributed to the members of the parliamentary committee.  

In an unrelated event, the retrial of publisher Kostas Vaxevanis, accused of breaking privacy laws for publishing the so-called Lagarde list, was due to begin on Monday but was postponed until October 8 when two defence lawyers and at key witnesses failed to appear at the courthouse.

Vaxevanis called the retrial "discriminatory prosecution".

 

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