Legal quagmire involving former head of Greek statistical bureau continues; High court prosecutor reverses appeal ruling

20 July 2017
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A very high-profile legal entanglement involving the former head of Greece’s statistical bureau (EL.STAT) appears unending, as a supreme court prosecutor on Wednesday overruled a previous reversal of Andreas Georgiou’s indictment on felony perjury charges.
Georgiou has been the target of detractors for several years, with the main charge against him being that he essentially “cooked” the Greek state’s finances in order to inflate the budget deficit in 2009 and open the way for the country’s bailout by the IMF and, subsequently, Euro zone partners.
Earlier this month a council of appellate justices had quashed a previous first instance court indictment against Georgiou.
He was president of EL.STAT from 2010 to 2015 during a crucial period for the country, one that witnessed two bailout memorandums being signed as a PSI “haircut” of bonds issued by the Greek state.
The latest twist comes as the high court prosecutor, Xeni Dimitriou, said she detected “legal reasons” to overrule the appellate level ruling, such as a lack of a legal reasoning and others.
Wednesday’s development means that the final decision on whether the US-based Georgiou actually sits in the dock rests with the Supreme Court’s criminal section.
Besides criticism that the case has dragged on for years and is politically motivated, the former EL.STAT head has received support from Eurostat. Moreover, the case has even been discussed at the Eurogroup setting during deliberations to conclude the second review of the Greek program. Representatives of institutional creditors called on Athens to resolve the pending issue immediately.

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