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Greek Journalist Found Not Guilty
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Costas Vaxevanis, a Greek journalist, was acquitted in his trial on Thursday by a Greek judge. He published the names of over 2,000 compatriots who were in possession of Swiss bank accounts. Vaxevanis is the editor of the Hot Doc magazine. Had he been convicted he would have faced up to two years in prison for violating data privacy laws, according to Reuters.

The list was published not too long ago and was called the “Lagarde List.” The name of the list was for Christine Lagarde, who heads the International Monetary Fund.

  
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The trial took all day on Thursday and the courtroom was full of journalists, Greek citizens and rights advocates. When Vaxevanis was deemed not guilty by the judge presiding over the case, the crowd in the courtroom erupted. Vaxevanis was embraced by his daughter as he threw his fists into the air in celebration.

“This ruling is not only right, but it frees journalism. Journalists in Greece have been held hostage for a very long time” Vaxevanis said following the announcement of the verdict. “This ruling gives our colleagues the possibility to do their jobs without handcuffs.”

According to Vaxevanis, he was given the list by an anonymous source. The list was provided to EU states back in 2010 by Lagarde when she was the French minister. Vaxevanis said that he published the list because politicians did not act on it and it was his duty to do so as a journalist.

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“Greek people have known for two years now that there is a list of people who are rich, rightly or wrongly, and they are untouchable. At the same time, the (Greek people) are on the other side, they are suffering cuts,” he said on the witness stand during the trial. “The political system has been hiding the truth for so long.”

The list of names includes politicians, doctors, lawyers, shipping magnates and housewives.





 

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