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George Papaconstantinou, former Greek finance minister, faces prosecution


Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou gives a press conference in Athens on May 2, 2011. Papaconstantinou presented measures supposed to be decisive in fighting tax evasion in the country.


Louisa Gouliamaki

Greece's former Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou faces prosecution for allegedly tampering with a public document.

Papaconstantinou allegedly removed the names of three of his relatives from a list of Swiss bank account holders whose tax records were to be re-examined, reported the Associated Press. Seventy-one deputies from Greece's three-party coalition government signed the proposal to indict Papaconstantinou for allegedly tampering with a public document and breach of duty, offenses that could carry a maximum 10-year jail term.

According to BBC News, the proposal was due to be submitted to parliament on Monday. Papaconstantinou has denied the allegations, saying the case against him was fabricated.

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The 51-year-old was removed from his socialist Pasok party on Friday after it was discovered that the names of his two cousins and their husbands had been deleted from the list of alleged tax dodgers, noted Greek prosecutors are investigating some 2000 holders of HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland for suspected tax evasion in what has been dubbed the "Lagarde List" affair, after International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, who gave Papaconstantinou the list in 2010 when she was France's finance minister.

According to the AP, parliament would have to approve an inquiry into Papaconstantinou, then vote to strip him of political immunity before he could stand trial.