Greek editor Costas Vaxevanis was arrested on Sunday, for the publication of the “Lagarde List” of local tycoons evading taxes by using Swiss banks to hide assets.
The list was published on Saturday, and it includes 2,059 names of well-known Greek politicians and businessmen who have generous accounts in Swiss Banks.
The Hot Doc magazine, that published the list, claims it received it from an unknown source. However, the list contains sensitive information, supposedly turned over to Greek authorities by French law enforcement officials.
As a result, it was titled Lagarde after International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, French finance minister at the time when the information was released, in 2010.
According to Al Jazeera
, the editor that made the information public is being charged with releasing personal information about the people involved in the scandal.
“He published a list of names without special permission and violated the law on personal data. […] There is no proof that the persons or companies included in that list have violated the law. There is no evidence that they violated the law on tax evasion or money laundering,” a police spokesperson said, regarding the case.
Vaxevanis defends himself by dubbing his arrest as a move to shift the blame from those allegedly responsible for bankrupting the country to an innocent man, reporting on the fact.
“The important thing is that a group of people - when Greece is starving - make a profit and try to create the Greece they want. […] If anyone is accountable before the law then it is those ministers who hid the list, lost it and said it didn't exist. I only did my job. I am a journalist and I did my job,” he says.
This comes at a time when Greece is struggling with bankruptcy, and citizens are faced to deal with restricting financial measures to deal with the crisis.
"Tomorrow in parliament they will vote to cut 100-200 euros in pay for the Greek civil servant, for the Greek worker while at the same time most of the 2,000 people on the list appear to be evading tax by secretly sending money to Switzerland," Vaxevanis added.