Investigative journalist arrested in Greece

October 28, 2012

Costas Vaxevanis

The Greek police arrested and then quickly released the owner of a respected investigative magazine on Sunday morning hours after he published a list of more than 2,000 suspected tax cheats who were said to have accounts at a bank in Switzerland. [NewYorkTimes]

Police took Kostas Vaxevanis, who runs Hot Doc magazine and who is one of the nation’s most famous investigative journalists, into custody on misdemeanor charges for violating the privacy of those on the list.

Many Greeks contend their government is not actively seeking well to do tax cheats who hide their income in out of country bank accounts while tax rates rise for the lower and middle class.

Greece’s European partners are set to meet to decide whether to grant tens of billions of euros in new aid to the financially struggling nation. Officials in Greece have long said that the government must crack down on tax evasion to be eligible for more aid.

On the list published in Hot Doc magazine was a former culture minister, several employees of the Finance Ministry and a number of business leaders. The magazine said its list matched a list of 2,059 people that was handed over to the Greek government in 2010 by Christine Lagarde to help Greece crack down on rampant tax evasion as it was trying to steady its economy. However, the Greek government appears to have taken no action after receiving the list.

Mr. Vaxevanis’ 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, the New York Times said. Reporter group Sans Frontieres issued a statement on Sunday expressing concern about the speed of his arrest.

“Costas Vaxevanis is not a dangerous criminal,” the group said. “The pressure created by the arrest of a reporter is clearly disproportionate. This procedure simply encourages an excessive cover-up, and the authorities appear to be imposing the ‘therapy’ of this sensitive issue, which is a gripping matter of public interest.”

 


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12 Comments

  1. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Greek journalist is arrested for publishing a list of political and business elites who have Swiss bank accounts and may be evading taxes. [Those on the list are not under investigation because they either are high in government or have friends who are. Unfortunately, most governments today are similarly corrupted.] YouTube 2012 Oct 29

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  2. The Gimlet Eye says:

    We are so like the Greeks. Or are the Greeks so like us?

    Former Goldman Sachs Director, Rajat Gupta, is sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined $5 million for insider trading by leaking secrets about his company to a hedge fund. [While this may appear to be a reversal of the trend to protect executives of financial institutions from punishment for their crimes, note that Gupta’s action was for personal gain at the expense of the bank he served. He did not commit a crime to help his bank, he committed a crime that hurt his bank. He was punished, not because he defrauded investors, but because he acted against the interests of the banking cartel – and he acted alone, not as part of the corporate team. Had it been otherwise, we believe he would have been protected.] Yahoo 2012 Oct 24

    http://news.yahoo.com/ex-goldman-director-gupta-awaits-sentence-insider-case-040726889–finance.html

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  3. The Gimlet Eye says:

    As the Greeks go, so go we:

    US Department of Justice sues Bank of America for $1 billion for mortgage fraud against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. [The fraud was committed by Countrywide bank, which later was acquired by Bank of America. If this action proceeds as others have in the past, no executives of either bank will be fined, only the corporation. That means stockholders and taxpayers will pay the fines, the government will get the money, injured parties will get nothing, and the executives will get bonuses. It’s political theater.] DailyMail 2012 Oct 24

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2222636/U-S-government-sues-Bank-America-1BILLION-mis-selling-Countrywide-mortgages-known-Hustle-loans.html

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  4. The Gimlet Eye says:

    A related story?

    A $43 TRILLION money-laundering lawsuit has been filed against “Banksters and their racketeering partners” including Eric Holder, Jon Corzine, Tim Geithner, Valerie Jarret, and numerous CEOs of major banks. [The plaintiffs are demanding a full audit of the Federal Reserve to find out where the bailout money went. This suit is the first of its kind that is aimed at the criminals themselves and the money they personally stole instead of the corporations and government agencies they control.] PR Newswire 2012 Oct 25

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/major-banks-governmental-officials-and-their-comrade-capitalists-targets-of-spire-law-group-llps-racketeering-and-money-laundering-lawsuit-seeking-return-of-43-trillion-to-the-united-states-treasury-175828861.html

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    • justme says:

      People focus on their home’s equity loss today and forget about the 10 or 20 yrs’ of 1500 dollars and more every month that went to interest which enriched Wall st.and Banks, etc. Trillions!
      A billion is nothing for a settlement and a greenlight to continue doing the same. They’ll be flush with the DOJ,

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • r0y says:

      Heh, I see you’ve found the LIBOR scandal. Pretty slick, eh?

      And here we are being pitted against each other thinking we’re all so different and “the other guys” are just evil incarnate. Ever wonder who’s really pulling the strings? It’s a good start. Keep digging.

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      • justme says:

        Wait ’til we find out “who is really pulling the strings” and that will come but then it gets worse not better. They want those tens of trillions they say we owe them and they play tough, as you can see, wars, economic pressure,prison.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      Your link goes to a website that seems to take a factual basis and “interpret” it in a highly speculative manner. It is hard to tell where the facts end and speculation begins. While I SUSPECT that there is enough underlying truth to be worthy of further investigation, I would not assume that their views are accurate without it given the dramatic and emotional nature of their presentation.

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      • justme says:

        Not speaking for Mr. Hodin but….
        What seems to you to be an overly emotional presentation is because it’s coming from someone who sees what’s going on in world finance etc.today. It’s shocking as hell. At the point it seems to be speculative to you is where you should start that “…further investigation…” you mentioned. Then get ready for the big “reboot”. It’s real and extremely unfortunate.

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  5. justme says:

    LeGarde is the Queen of the IMF after the Bankster that preceded her in that criminal position was caught in a NYC hotel with a hooker/maid.
    So why is SHE busting tax cheats, she’s a Bankster. Oh, yeah she IS a Bankster and Banksters now have control of all Govt’s because they now ARE the Gov’ts.

    Note here, if the Richey Riches who stashed cash in the Greek’s banks have to pay up, where does that money go? Right back to Christine because Greece in in “debt” to her and her’s. It’s a scam beyond comprehension of 98% of Americans but not nearly as many Europeans of course. But don’t worry, we’re next, then you’ll know, but that’s too late.

    Obummer and especially Mitt know it. Barak wants to standup to it somewhat just to look good in the history books and can do so (for a minute, anyway) because he paid his debt to the bankers by stepping aside and keeping his mouth shut when we got “tarped” into oblivion. Mitt just wants to rise to the top and be part of it, as usual, and play with the biggest players in the world. He’s nuts and that kinda crap thrills him and screw us, but he’s a proven sociopath as his career indicates. He and Netenyahu will join….. anyway, that’s another waiting diaster, back to this one…

    But breathe a word and they’re gone in a flash of bad press or caught with a woman….or or as happened to JFK, “lead poisoning” after he busted the FED.

    Why are we in the dark? Because of a media that knows what Obummer and Mitt know. Keep your yapper in the closed position or you’re out of business.

    Kinda like the nutless professors and teachers not just here but across this hypnotizzzed nation who are effectively paid to keep their mouths shut about this scam upon the masses, and by so few.

    Who’s the political science genius at Poly now anyway. Or, like most professors, etc. will he or she wait until after retirement to unload some nasty Karma and write down (for money) what they always hid when it was most needed.
    You’d think because we live in a “college town” someone, somewhere would have a clue, Jesus.

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    • r0y says:

      Some of us have been following this for years.

      How many times must we cry, “the emperor has no clothes?”

      Unfortunately (for ideologues) O’bama is not “less innocent” (or “more”) than Romney. It will be hard to throw off our conditioned thinking, and many simply cannot or will not do it, but until we take the blinders off, this thing will just keep on chuggin’ along, taking everything from everyone.

      Is it coincidental that usery is a sin? Money is not so much the root of all evil; usery is. And now we’re about to bear witness to it.

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