The former head of powerful financial crimes units (SDOE), Ioannis Diotis, was handed down a 10-year suspended sentence. He was convicted of failing to investigate information on the so-called “Lagarde list” containing more than 2,000 names of potential tax evaders.
Ioannis Diotis was handed down a suspended 10-year sentence this week on a single charge of abuse of office. A three-justice appellate court considered that his decision not to fully investigate 2,062 Greek citizens with deposits at HSBC’s Geneva branch was unlawful.
The court considered that the former head of the SDOE had “put aside” the electronic file that was originally called the “Lagarde list” and that by “omitting” investigation those included in the list were not checked, as amna.gr notes.
Amna.gr reckons that Diotis assumed the post of head of the SDOE in 2011, succeeding Giannis Kapeleris. From the very beginning Diotis claimed that he did not deal with the Lagard List because he considered that the material was unusable since it was a spy product “illegally acquired”.
It should be also be reminded that former HSBC employee Herver Falciani had illegally obtained the list with the names of HSBC account holders and handed it over to the French Treasury that on its part handed it further to the Greek authorities. Back then, now IMF managing director Christine Lagarde was the French Finance Minister.
Kapeleris, who oversaw the SDOE in 2010 when the list was received by the French Treasury, was initially charged, but he was discharged as the competent judicial council acknowledged that he had never formally received the electronic file with the Lagarde List by the then Finance Minister Minister Finance Giorgos Papakonstantinou.
Tax bureau and SDOE auditors were then ordered to investigate whether the individuals on the list had engaged in tax evasion or money laundering.
According to naftemporitki, Diotis, himself a former top prosecutor and well-known for leading the successful investigation and subsequent disbanding of the “November 17” urban terror gang, later issued a statement calling the ruling a “flagrant violation of any concept of legality and the rule of law.”