Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreeceAcquitted Greek Journalist Prosecuted Again

Acquitted Greek Journalist Prosecuted Again

Investigative journalist Costas Vaxevanis, who was acquitted of violation of privacy laws after publishing the names of 2,059 Greeks with $1.95 billion in secret accounts in a Swiss bank he said hadn’t been checked for possible tax evasion, is being prosecuted again on the same charges after the prosecutor appealed the verdict he said was “legally wrong.”
Vaxevanis, publisher of the Hot Doc magazine, was cleared earlier this month of the privacy violation charges brought only days after he printed what the magazine claimed was the so-called Lagarde list. Former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, how head of the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) one of Greece’s Troika of international lenders, in 2010 gave a list of data stolen from the Geneva branch of HSBC bank by an employee there to former Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou, who said he lost it.
The prosecutor said he wanted the case re-examined, which is allowed under Greek law although an acquittal in the United States would prevent another prosecution under double jeopardy laws. The prosecutor who argued the caset, Iraklis Pasalidis, claimed in court that Vaxevanis had “offered blood and turned the country into a coliseum.”
Vaxevanis countered that someone’s name in connection with their bank account is not personal data, declaring that the Lagarde list was “not a legal issue, but a very important social and political one.”
The main leftwing opposition party SYRIZA condemned the decision as “political persecution,” while Vaxevanis, in an earlier posting on his Twitter account, noted: “While society demands disclosure, they cover up.”
The Vaxevanis case embarrassed the Greek government – and much of the Greek media which barely reported it amid his charges many journalists side with politicians and the rich. Vaxevanis said the list hadn’t been vetted for possible tax evasion, and it still hasn’t, while the prosecutor is pursuing him again instead.
Critics said the prosecution showed the government was cracking down on media freedom. Vaxevanis is to be retried in a higher-level misdemeanor court on the same charges, and faces a two-year prison sentence if he is found guilty.
“Such appeals by the prosecutor are not unusual, particularly in cases where personal privacy are concerned,” Aristides Hatzis, a professor of law at the University of Athens told the New York Times, attributing the two-week delay between the verdict and the appeal to “standard judicial bureaucracy.”
(Sources: Kathimerini, New York Times)

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts