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Greek Journalist on Trial for Bank List

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 1, 2012 Last Updated: November 8, 2012
Related articles: World » Europe
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Costas Vaxevanis, a 46-year-old veteran investigative journalist who now publishes a magazine, exits a court in Athens after the beginning of his trial, on Nov. 1. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

Costas Vaxevanis, a 46-year-old veteran investigative journalist who now publishes a magazine, exits a court in Athens after the beginning of his trial, on Nov. 1. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

A Greek journalist who released the names of more than 2,000 Greeks who have Swiss bank accounts went on trial on Thursday for a breach of privacy.

Costas Vaxevanis told the BBC that Greek politicians should be on trial for keeping the names of those with Swiss accounts secret. Greek officials have said there is no proof the people whose names are on the list actually broke the law.

“They were obliged to pass it to parliament or to the justice system. They didn’t do it and they should be in prison for it,” he said.

He also blamed fellow journalists for ignoring the story, saying the “Greek press is muzzled. There is a closed system of power in Greece, wielded by the political elite, businessmen and journalists.”

The French government gave the names to Greece around two years ago, but the names were never investigated.

Former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who is now head of the International Monetary Fund, apparently was the one who delivered the document to Greek authorities, but Greek officials said it came from a HSBC employee.

“I wonder if Greek justice will show that the law safeguards the public interest and freedom of speech… in journalism you must do what you think is right without worrying about the consequences,” Vaxevanis wrote in an editorial published by Britain’s The Times newspaper, according to AFP.

On the list are businessmen, doctors, lawyers, a former minister, journalists, shipowners, corporations, and others, the news agency said.

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