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September 23, 2017

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Greek journalist tried over release of Swiss bank list

ATHENS--Greek lawyers launched their defense of a prominent journalist on Thursday charged with breaking private data rules after he published the names of more than 2,000 wealthy Greeks believed to be holding Swiss bank accounts.

The printing of the "Lagarde List" by magazine editor Costas Vaxavanis has touched a nerve in almost-bankrupt Greece, where rampant tax evasion is undermining a struggle to cut public costs and raise revenue under an EU/IMF bailout deal.

Vaxevanis, editor of the "Hot Doc" weekly, was surrounded by fellow journalists and other supporters who packed the Athens courtroom as his lawyers began their defense.

They argued the prosecution had charged him without any of those on the list having filed a complaint about privacy violation, a rare occurrence in a freedom of speech or defamation case in Greece.

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