A Greek appeals court on Wednesday made no change to the sentence handed down to former minister Yiannos Papantoniou and his wife Stavroula Kourakou by a lower court, after their conviction for submitting an inaccurate wealth statement for the year 2010.
The sentence for both remained fixed at four years imprisonment, convertible to a fine of 10 euros per day as initially, in addition to a fine of 10,000 euros, which again remained unchanged. On the basis of the appeals court's decision, the couple must pay an estimated 100,000 euros in order to stay out of jail.
The court additionally decided to seize property owned by the couple, specifically their right to the use and financial exploitation of a residence in the Athens suburb of Kifissia owned by their son.
The former minister and his spouse have been found guilty of failing to include the money deposited in an HSBC bank account in Switzerland, amounting to 1.311 million euros, in their 2010 wealth statement. The bank account was discovered via the so-called "Lagarde list" - a leaked list of Greeks with bank accounts in the Swiss branch of HSBC - sent to Greek authorities by France.
Neither of the two defendants were present in the court when the court ruling was read out, while their lawyer said the couple had not included the sums in their 2010 wealth statement because it was a trust fund, which they no longer considered to belong to them. This claim by the former Greek defence and national economy minister was rejected by the court, with the prosecutor noting that the couple had yet to satisfactorily explain where the funds in the account had come from.