Greek editor's arrest sought over list with Swiss accounts

ATHENS Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:46pm EDT

ATHENS Oct 28 (Reuters) - Greek police are seeking to arrest the editor of a weekly magazine for publishing a list of more than 2,000 names of wealthy Greeks who have placed money in Swiss bank accounts, police said on Saturday.

The so-called "Lagarde List" - given to Greece by French authorities in 2010 with names to be probed for possible tax evasion - has been a topic of heated speculation in Greek media in recent weeks. It is named after International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who was French finance minister when the list was handed over.

The "Hot Doc" magazine published the list of 2,059 names including some well-known figures on Saturday. The magazine said it had been sent the list anonymously. Authorities did not confirm if the list was authentic.

A prosecutor ordered the arrest of editor Costas Vaxevanis for violating laws on releasing private data, police said.

"The prosecutor issued a warrant for Vaxevanis's arrest because he published a list of names without special permission and violated the law on personal data," a police official said.

"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," the official added.

The list has inspired heated discussion in near-bankrupt Greece, where public anger at politicians and the wealthy elite grows as austerity measures take a toll on the poorer sections of society.