2 Nov 2012

Greek journalist acquitted over Swiss bank list

2:12 pm on 2 November 2012

A Greek magazine editor has been acquitted of breaching privacy for publishing the names of 2000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

The list published by Costas Vaxevanis included a government minister and other prominent figures in public life.

Lawyers for Mr Vaxevanis, 46, argued that the charges were outrageous and said no-one on the list had actually complained of a breach of privacy.

After a one-day trial, a court in Athens found Mr Vaxevanis innocent.

He published the list of suspected tax evaders in Hot Doc the weekly magazine he edits.

Greece is being urged by international lenders to crack down on tax evasion as part of far-reaching reforms demanded in exchange for billions of euros of bailout money.

The list was reportedly leaked by an employee at the HSBC bank and passed to IMF chief Christine Lagarde when she was French finance minister in 2010.

Ms Lagarde apparently handed the list to the Greek authorities, but they took no action.