The Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that the former head of the Greek Financial Crime Unit (SDOE), Ioannis Diotis, must face charges for the way he handled the data included in the so-called “Lagarde List.”
The court essentially fully accepted the proposal of Appeals prosecutor Manolis Drakos who requested that Diotis is tried for breach of trust but cleared him of charges of destroying a document to gain an unlawful advantage or causing damage to the Greek State. The prosecutor said that Diotis did not audit the list’s names and rejected claims that the list has been delivered illegally and therefore could not be used.
The court decided that Diotis should be charged with breach of trust in the Unit, while his predecessor, Ioannis Kapeleris, who was also accused for not utilizing the data in the list, was cleared of charges. The prosecutor cleared him of charges, accepting his claims that he never officially received the list in question by his then supervisor, Former Finance Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou, apart from a few names for whom he was only asked to form a tax profile but not go ahead with an audit.
It should be noted that Papakonstantinou will be referred to the Special Court where he will be asked to address charges of distorting documents and attempted breach of faith. The Former Finance Minister is accused of removing the names of relatives from the infamous “Lagarde List,” containing overseas bank account details of Greek taxpayers.
The list was handed to the Greek government by French authorities in October 2010 and includes the names of some 2,000 Greek potential tax evaders with undeclared accounts at HSBC’s Geneva branch. It was named after former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde who passed it on to the Greek officials. The list’s existence caused major uproar among Greeks in a period when most of the country’s citizens were hit by the financial crisis.