Acquitted magazine editor to face retrial

The publisher of the Hot Doc magazine, Costas Vaxevanis, is to face trial once again after the Athens Public Prosecutor’s office appealed a court decision earlier this month acquitting him of charges of violating privacy laws after publishing what the magazine claimed was the so-called Lagarde list, a list of some 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

In a statement, the prosecutor said the decision was “legally wrong” as it violated the privacy of individuals on the list and called for a re-examination of the case.

Earlier this month, Vaxevanis was cleared of misdemeanor charges after publishing a list of names of Greeks with deposits in the Geneva branch of HSBC. He claimed it was the same as a list first given by Christine Lagarde to Greek authorities in 2010, when the current International Monetary Fund chief had been the French finance minister.

The prosecutor who had argued the case against him in court claimed he had “offered blood and turned the country into a coliseum.” Vaxevanis countered that someone’s name in connection with their bank account is not personal data, declaring that the Lagarde list was “not a legal issue, but a very important social and political one.”

The main leftwing opposition party SYRIZA condemned Friday’s decision as “political persecution,” while Vaxevanis himself, in an earlier posting on his Twitter account, noted: “While society demands disclosure, they cover up.”

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