Ex-PM Samaras demands apology from leftist SYRIZA after one-time close aide fully exonerated in tax cases

Wednesday, 30 June 2021 22:17
UPD:22:21
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Former prime minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday demanded an apology from SYRIZA party and especially ex-prime minister Alexis Tsipras, in the wake of Wednesday's final judgment fully exonerating a close associate of charges of tax evasion and money-laundering.

The decision by the council of Athens first instance jurists clears attorney Stavros Papastavrou of any wrong-doing.

In a statement, Samaras, the prime minister between 2013 and January 2015, pointed to a judicial conspiracy by the leftist party to implicate Papastavrou in order to attack his government.

"I am therefore asking, directly, Mr. Tsipras: Even though he knew from the very first moment of Papastavrou's innocence, he shamefully manufactured, along with the para-state, these charges? I am asking Mr. Tsipras why after humiliating an innocent person, they (SYRIZA) offered to rehabilitate him in return for favors".

Papastavrou had faced tax evasion charges related to the so-called "Lagarde list" of Greek citizens with deposits at the Geneva branch of HSBC.

During an acrimonious debate in Parliament in 2016, Tsipras, the prime minister at the time, nodded in the affirmative when pressed by main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis - the current prime minister - from the legislature's podium if he would apologize to Papastavrou if the latter was exonerated.

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