Prominent Greek businessman jailed pending trial

ATHENS Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:33am IST

Stocks

   

ATHENS (Reuters) - Prominent Greek businessman Lavrentis Lavrentiadis will be jailed pending his trial for involvement in a banking scandal, a court source said on Friday.

Lavrentiadis, a high-flying businessman who began his career in the chemicals industry and then moved into banking and media, was arrested on Thursday at his home in Athens but taken to hospital later that day.

He is among the most high-profile Greek businessmen to be charged since Greece sank into a debt crisis, and his arrest comes amid growing public anger at a political and business elite blamed for dragging the country close to financial ruin.

The 40-year-old remained in hospital on Friday, where he faced a magistrate who decided he should be held until his trial, the source said. He is expected to be taken to prison or a prison hospital in the coming days, the source said.

A Greek prosecutor filed felony charges against him earlier this year in relation to the collapse of Proton Bank, a small Greek financial institution in which he was the biggest shareholder.

Proton became the first Greek bank to be effectively nationalized after it fell under a bank rescue fund set up by Greece and its international lenders.

Lavrentiadis has denied any wrongdoing. In a statement, he said the decision to jail him did not take into account his health issues and that the charges against him were built on a biased and wrong report from Greece's central bank.

"My health problems were ignored," he said. "The justice system is responsible now for anything that might happen to me."

If convicted, he could face life in prison. Another 27 suspected associates, including Proton executives, also face trial.

On Tuesday, a court ordered the confiscation of Lavrentiadis's property and assets, a court official said.

The charges against Lavrentiadis are related to accusations that Proton issued more than 600 million euros of bad loans to companies he owned or had connections with, as reported by Greece's central bank in an audit last year.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Alison Williams)

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

DEFENCE

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Power Theft

Power Theft

India to invest $4 billion to tackle power theft  Full Article 

Debt Funds

Debt Funds

India monitors foreign flows into debt funds, may tighten rules  Full Article 

Bulgari Back in India

Bulgari Back in India

CEO: we shouldn’t have left India so we’re back  Full Article 

 Hindu "Modi-fication"

Hindu "Modi-fication"

Fears grow about Hindu "Modi-fication" of education  Full Article 

Weak Credit

Weak Credit

Hard to hit tax revenue target, credit weak - Jaitley  Full Article 

China Rate Cut

China Rate Cut

China surprises with interest rate cut to spur growth  Full Article 

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

RBI cautious on response to gold import surge  Full Article 

Economic Corridor

Economic Corridor

China commits $45.6 billion for economic corridor with Pakistan  Full Article 

Overseas Funds

Overseas Funds

RBI says overseas borrowed funds can be parked with banks in India  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage