Greek Journalist arrested for publishing the Lagarde List, is acquitted

Grete Chan, 5 November 2012

Photo Credit: BBC UK

Kostas Vaxevanis, the editor of the magazine Hot Doc, was charged with violating Greece’s data protection law. His defense attorney Harris Ikonomopoulos have confirmed that he was acquitted Thursday night, after his arrest on Sunday, which was the day after his magazine published the list.

Vaxevanis had argued that the publication involves public interest and that he have attained this list from a reliable source, therefore his arrest infringed on his press freedom rights. His lawyers also opened the court proceeding stating that no one on the published list have complained about the publication.

If convicted, Vaxevanis would have faced a minimum 12-month imprisonment, plus a fine of US$39,000.

The court did not provide any legal reasoning for acquitting Vaxevanis, although he is thankful, the issue of public corruption and tax evasion continues to dominate Greece. Ikonomopoulos told CNN,

The Greek government needs to investigate this list and any other lists they may have their hands on. But first and foremost, the Greek government needs to reinstate effective governance, checks and balances and accountability and transparency mechanisms, in order for whatever is done to be productive. We can’t afford any more injustice, we can’t afford any more mismanagement and we can certainly not afford lies that are smearing public life and are de-legitimizing the public personnel in total at a time we need to work together.

As thousands of Greeks take on the streets of Athens, and social networking conducting naming and shaming campaigns, the Greek politicians have their hands full to juggle between the Troika’s demands and their citizens.

For more stories on Corruption, have a look at The Scandal Club>Bribery and Corruption


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