Greek investigative journalist Kostas Vaxevanis is due to appear in court on Monday on charges of violating privacy legislation, following Hot Doc's publication of the names on the infamous 'Lagarde List.'
Ironically, the first person to face prosecution over the now infamous 'Lagarde List' is the investigative journalist Kostas Vaxevanis who published the names from the list in the magazine Hot Doc. Vaxevanis, who was arrested and then released on Sunday, said: “Instead of arresting the tax evaders and the ministers who had the list in their hands, they are trying to arrest the truth and freedom of the press.”
The Lagarde List has been a political hot potato for almost a month now. Digital Journal reported Evangelos Venizelos handed over a missing CD containing the names of almost 2,000 Greeks with deposits in a Swiss bank to Antonis Samaras early October.
According to the New York Times the names on the list "includes not only some in the government and businesspeople, but also actors, doctors, lawyers and architects. It also includes several women identified as housewives." The names of three politicians appear on the list, one a current advisor to the prime minister.
On Friday the office of former Prime Minister George Papandreou denied that Papandreou had been aware of the existence of the Lagarde List which was apparently lost by former finance ministers Giorgos Papaconstantinou and Evangelos Venizelos. Papaconstantinou said he received the list of names from Christine Lagarde. The finance ministers did nothing with the list of potential tax evaders because, they claimed, the information had been received illegally.
After holding onto the names on the list for almost a month the first person to be subject to prosecution is the journalist who listed the names. Avaaz has organized an online petition calling for all charges against Vaxevanis to be dropped.