Greece's former finance minister should be prosecuted, lawmakers say
July 17, 2013 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
Former socialist Finance minister George Papaconstantinou at the Greek Parliament in Athens on January 17, 2013.
- Greek Parliament votes for ex-minister to face charges over alleged tampering
- The lawmakers' vote lifts immunity from prosecution for George Papaconstantinou
- He's accused of wiping names of relatives from list of Greeks who have Swiss bank accounts
- Questions have been raised about how the list was handled after its existence was revealed
Athens (CNN) -- Greece's Parliament has voted that former Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou should face criminal prosecution for allegedly wiping the names of at least three relatives from a list of more than 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.
The list of those with accounts at a Geneva branch of HSBC is known as the "Lagarde list," because it was given by Christine Lagarde, then France's finance minister, to her Greek counterpart in August 2010.
However, its existence was not revealed until September 2012. Information that the list had been misplaced, copied and altered so as to exclude certain names then started coming to light, causing a major uproar.
The three charges against Papaconstantinou are breach of trust, doctoring an official document and dereliction of duty. If convicted, he faces a prison sentence.
Papaconstantinou served as finance minister from October 2009 to June 2011, and was finance minister when Greece negotiated its first international bailout.
Because he is a lawmaker, Parliament has to approve the lifting of immunity before any prosecution can proceed.
In a secret ballot late Monday, 220 deputies in the 300-seat Parliament voted in favor of the former minister being prosecuted for at least one charge, and 166 for all three. Seventeen deputies were absent.
Addressing lawmakers before the vote, Papaconstantinou denied wrongdoing and said he was being targeted "for one simple reason, being the finance minister who put the country in the bailout process."
A council of judges will convene, probably later this week, to decide whether Papaconstantinou should face the criminal charges outlined in Parliament.
While it is not illegal to hold a Swiss bank account, and there is no evidence that anyone broke the law, suspicions are high in Greece that some of those named in the list may have opened the accounts to avoid paying taxes to the Greek state.
A parliamentary committee was set up last year to look into why no investigation was carried out under either Papaconstantinou or his successor as finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos.
Greek media questioned whether the failure to investigate those named for possible tax evasion might have been the result of an attempt by politicians to protect a wealthy elite.
Lagarde is now the International Monetary Fund chief.
Journalist Elinda Labropoulou reported in Athens and CNN's Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.