Greek investigative journalist Kostas Vaxevanis, who exposed the names of 2,062 Greeks with $1.95 billion in deposits in secret Swiss bank accounts that wasn’t checked for tax evasion – and was prosecuted for it – has been honored with the first International Journalism Award Julio Anguita Parado “for his courageous and independent struggle against the corruption at the heart of Europe.”
The jury that picked him was comprised of journalists Mercedes Gallego (Vocento), Montserrat Dominguez (Huffington Post) and Antonio Garcia Ferreras (La Sexta), Professors Octavio Salazar (University of Cordoba) Antonio Checa (University of Seville) Juan Antonio) , Juan Antonio Anguita Parrado, brother of the journalist (from Cordoba), who was killed in Iraq war on April 7h,2003 as well as Lola Fernandez Palenzuela, SPA general secretary.
They singled out his work and courage in speaking out, and fighting censorship and injustice within the framework of both personal and professional vulnerability in a period of serious economic and social tensions in Greece and Europe.
He was acquitted of charges of violating the privacy of the account holders but the government, unsatisfied with the verdict, is going to re-try him on the same charges as there is no double jeopardy law in Greece.
Vaxevanis, who produces the magazine and online site HotDoc, has been also nominated for a Journalism Award, by the freedom of expression organization Index on Censorship. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place on March 21 at the Inner Temple, London.
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