Greek former finance minister appears before judge to answer charges on Swiss banking list

ATHENS, Greece – Greek former finance minister George Papaconstantinou has appeared before an investigating judge to answer criminal charges over his handling of data on Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

Papaconstantinou, who handled Greece’s first international bailout in 2010, was released Thursday on bail of 30,000 euros ($40,000) and ordered to appear at a police station monthly.

He denies charges of breach of duty and tampering with a document, arguing he is the victim of a smear campaign.

The accusations stem from the fate of a list of about 2,000 names provided by French authorities in 2010 as Greece’s economy was struck by a major crisis.

Greek authorities failed to investigate the data for potential tax evasion, and the names of three of Papaconstantinou’s relatives were allegedly removed from the list.