“I wish we had ten Papastavrou!” It was former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who had praised the morals of his close aide Stavros Papastravou, a lawyer consultant at the Prime Ministry, during a speech in the Greek Parliament. Now, one of the ‘ten’ the real Stavros Papastavrou has been summoned by an Athens financial crimes prosecutor to give explanation about 5.5 million euro in his accounts at the HSBC Geneva branch. Papastavrou’s name was one of more than 2,000 Greek names on the so-called Lagarde list of wealthy Greek depositors with accounts at HSBC Geneva branch that was ‘stolen’ by former bank employee Herve Falciani in 2009. The Lagarde-List has been in the hands of the Greek authorities since 2010.
“Prosecutor Yiannis Dragatsis called lawyer Stavros Papastavrou to answer questions regarding his suspected involvement in tax evasion and money laundering through an account containing 5.5 million euros that was among hundreds on a list submitted to the Greek authorities in 2010 by then-French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, currently managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
Papastavrou’s legal counsel requested an extension so that the former prime minister’s adviser can prepare his defense. A new date will be set for his deposition after the August 15th break.” (ekathimerini)
According to several Greek media, Papastavrou claims that the money does not belong to him but to Israeli businessman Sabi Mioni. Papastavrou is reportedly co-holder of the account together with his mother and his father who deceased some years ago. Papastavrou had alleged that he was just managing the bank account.
The former aide has to prove through documents that he is telling the truth, but also Mioni has to testify to the case. In his testimony in 2013, Mioni had claimed that he had given access to one of his corporate bank accounts to Papastavrou.
PS tax evasion and money laundering? If Mioni and Papastavrou were friends… there is no problem to share a bank account, I suppose.