Greek Magazine Editor Arrested After Publishing List Of Swiss Bank Accounts

The right to free speech trumped by the right of the powerful to keep their Swiss bank accounts a secret, the New York Times reports:

The Greek police arrested and then quickly released the owner and editor of a respected investigative magazine on Sunday morning hours after he published a list of more than 2,000 Greeks who were said to have accounts at a bank in Switzerland, throwing new controversy into a scandal over whether the government is actively pursuing suspected tax cheats.

Mr. Vaxevanis posted a message to his Twitter account early Sunday saying that 15 officers had surrounded the home of a friend with whom he had been staying “like Greek storm troopers in German uniforms.” The Greek news media reported that the charges concerned the violation of the privacy of those on the list.

Mr. Vaxevanis’s arrest raises questions about freedom of the press in a country that frequently reminds its European Union partners that it is the birthplace of democracy. “Instead of arresting the tax evaders and the ministers who had the list in their hands, they are trying to arrest the truth and free journalism,” [Mr. Vaxevanis] said in a telephone interview that was uploaded on the Internet and widely circulated.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    Guardian UK reported that he was acquitted yesterday.

    The article quoted the prosecutor as p*ssing himself that Vaxevanis had essentially thrown these tax cheats and ponzi scheme engineers to a pack of rabid wolves, given the current angry tenor of society.

    To which I responded silently, “Good. Good.”

    Vaxevanis deserves the Greek version of the Medal of Honor or whatever they call it.

    • charlieprimero

      Agreed.

    • Calypso_1

      When are they going to figure out that the public needs to see some of the jackboots surrounding the palatial residences of the upper echelon criminals.

      Hopefully his rapid acquittal will empower others in journalistic circles to reexamine their role in society.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        BTW–did you read the article about the British oil company executive mysteriously offed in Brussels last week?

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-oil-executive-murdered-in-brussels-may-have-been-victim-of-professional-hit-by-assassin-8227474.html

        The inevitable outcome of some petty personal demons, like a drug habit or spurned mistress? Mistaken identity or random crime? The government priming the public for new and unprecedented, unconstitutional ‘security’ powers? Or maybe a window at what a typical headline might look like in a world where the powers that be continue to treat the people like cattle instead of a constituency?

        • Calypso_1

          I had not read that. Thanks.

          Also to consider: Companies themselves may be deciding to ‘cut some loses’.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            That’s one way to keep the ol’ pension liability down.

          • Calypso_1

            I seem to recall a similar incident during the S&L crisis. It was some kind of international business espionage/killing. I listed to an audio book about it…will have to dredge up the title.

        • IokSotot

          There are green shoots of hope everywhere. Some bankers have decided to serve the collective by heroically saving workers the effort of lynching them. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9616861/Successful-banker-jumped-to-his-death-from-No-1-Poultry-building.html

  • lucifer69

    Any one can have a Swiss account it is not illegal.

    • Simiantongue

      Anyone can own a collection of pre-pubescent girl’s panties, that’s not illegal either. Perhaps it’s pertinent to question how they acquired them and why they have such a collection.

      • earaches

        eBay.

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