The trial of Kostas Vaxevanis, the journalist who published the names of Greeks with accounts in a Swiss bank, began in Athens at about 10.30 a.m. on Thursday.
Vaxevanis?s weekly magazine, Hot Doc, published more than 2,000 names that he claims were on a list provided by French authorities to Greece in 2010. It has become known as the ?Lagarde list? after the French finance minister at the time.
The account holders are estimated to have a combined total of some 1.5 billion euros in deposits. It has emerged that Greek authorities failed, for a number of reasons, to investigate whether the account holders had deposit the money legally.
Vaxevanis has been charged with breaching privacy rights by publishing the names. The journalist says that he has not broken any laws as he only published the names of those on the list, not their bank details.
He also argues that the real offenses have been committed by previous finance ministers and chiefs of the financial crimes squad (SDOE) who failed to carry out a proper investigation.
There are a number of politicians, journalists and publishers on the list published by Vaxevanis.
It is expected that the president of the International Federation of Journalists, Jim Boumelha, the head of the ESIEA journalists? union, Dimitris Trimis and SYRIZA MP Zoi Konstantopoulou will speak in Vaxevanis?s defense at the trial, which is taking place at the main court complex in Athens, known as Evelpidon.