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Former Greek finance minister guilty

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 01:17

Former Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou has been handed a one year suspended prison sentence. He was found guilty of tampering with a list of potential tax evaders, removing three of his relatives. Katie Gregory has more.

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He was once at the helm of Greece's finances. Now George Papaconstantinou is one of the highest-profile political figures to be tried since the country sank into a debt crisis in 2009. The former finance minister was found guilty of tampering with the so-called "Lagarde list" - names of about 2,000 wealthy Greeks with money in overseas accounts. Prosecutors found three of his relatives had been removed from the list of potential tax evaders. But the economist always denied any wrongdoing. And his lawyer explained the charge was downgraded for several reasons. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) LAWYER, VASSILIS DIMAKOPOULOS, SAYING: "The Court fully confirmed that Mr. Papaconstantinou did not act with self-interest in order to benefit anyone, either himself or a third party. And he did not attempt to damage the Greek state, and certainly never did cause damages." He was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence - on condition he doesn't committ any crime over the next three years. His case is unlikely to be the last of it's kind. The new leftist-government - led by Alexis Tsipras - has promised to crack down on endemic tax evasion, that's partly to blame for the poor state of Greece's finances.

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Former Greek finance minister guilty

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 01:17