Former Greek economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou and his wife Stavroula Kourakou lost their bid to overturn a guilty verdict for hiding more than €1.3 million in a Swiss bank account. The Greek appeals court upheld the four-year jail sentence that was handed down last November.
Papantoniou, who served as Defense Minister between 2001-2003 and Minister of Economy and Finance prior to that between 1994–2001 for the socialist PASOK party, was instrumental in launching the euro currency in Greece.
Papantoniou’s wife’s name appeared on the so-called Lagarde List, which was a list of more than 2,000 Greeks who had bank accounts in a Swiss bank. The list was leaked to Greek media in 2010 and was said to include numerous prominent Greeks who were suspected of using the accounts to evade taxes.
He and his wife can elect to serve the four years in prison or, according to Greek law, pay off their sentences for €10 a day each, or €29,200 in total. They also have to pay a penalty of €10,000.
Papantoniou claimed in the original November 2014 trial that he did not know about the account as it had been opened by Kourakou’s ex-husband. The judge did not buy his claim and upheld the conviction during the appeal.