Kostas Vaxevanis , the Greek whistleblower journalist who embarrassed a Greek government that hadn’t acted on a list of Greeks with secret Swiss bank accounts by publishing their names, went on trial again on Oct. 8 of violating their privacy even though he was acquitted of the charge earlier in the year.
The government, unsatisfied with losing the case, is prosecuting him again as there is no double jeopardy law in Greece and the government wants him found guilty for publishing the so-called Lagarde List of 2,062 Greeks with $1.95 billion in the Geneva branch of HSBC. The list has been in the government’s hands for three years and still not acted on.
Christine Lagarde who was the French finance minister at the time in October 2010 gave the list taken from a CD stolen from the bank by an employee to then Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou. He said it disappeared but was prosecuted after the names of three of his relatives were found to be missing. He denied any wrongdoing.
Vaxevanis’s retrial has caused international reaction about press censorship. Vaxevanis told the British newspaper The Guardian: “It’s ridiculous that I am being put on trial for publishing the list when Parliament has decided to send the minister who hid it to court.”