[QODLink]
Europe
Greece arrests editor for 'Lagarde list' leak
Detained journalist defends publishing list of well-known Greeks who allegedly use Swiss banks to evade national taxes.
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2012 20:49

Greek police arrested the editor of a weekly magazine for publishing a list of more than 2,000 names of wealthy Greeks who have placed money in Swiss bank accounts, police say.

The so-called Lagarde List, which led to the arrest of editor Costas Vaxevanis on Sunday, was given to Greece by French authorities in 2010 with names to be probed for possible tax evasion - a topic of heated speculation in the Greek media.

It is named after International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who was French finance minister when the list was handed over.

The Hot Doc magazine published the list of 2,059 names, including some well-known business and political figures, on Saturday. The magazine said it had been sent the list anonymously. Authorities did not confirm if the list was authentic.

A prosecutor ordered the arrest of Vaxevanis on Saturday for violating laws on releasing private data, police said. He was released pending trial after appearing before a prosecutor on Sunday.

"He published a list of names without special permission and violated the law on personal data," a police official said.

"There is no proof that the persons or companies included in that list have violated the law. There is no evidence that they violated the law on tax evasion or money laundering," the official added.

'Starving' Greece

The list has inspired heated discussion in near-bankrupt Greece, where public anger at politicians and the wealthy elite grows as austerity measures take a toll on the poorer sections of society.

In a video sent to the Reuters news service by his magazine, Vaxevanis appeared on camera to defend his decision to publish the list.

"I did nothing other than what a journalist is obliged to do. I revealed the truth that they were hiding," he said in the video.

"If anyone is accountable before the law then it is those ministers who hid the list, lost it and said it didn't exist. I only did my job. I am a journalist and I did my job."

He said he had not committed any wrongdoing and accused authorities of trying to muzzle the press.

"The important thing is that a group of people - when Greece is starving - make a profit and try to create the Greece they want," he said.

"Tomorrow in parliament they will vote to cut 100-200 euros in pay for the Greek civil servant, for the Greek worker while at the same time most of the 2,000 people on the list appear to be evading tax by secretly sending money to Switzerland."

422

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list