* Vaxevanis acquitted of charges last year
* Prosecutor demanded retrial
* Verdict may come as early as Tuesday
ATHENS, Oct 8 A Greek investigative journalist
who published the names of more than 2,000 wealthy Greeks with
Swiss bank accounts appeared in court on Tuesday to stand trial
again for violating privacy laws.
The unusually speedy arrest, trial and acquittal of Costas
Vaxevanis last October for publishing the so-called "Lagarde
List" drew international concern and captivated Greeks angry
that successive governments failed to pursue those on the list
while heaping austerity cuts on everyone else.
The magazine editor, who had called last year's trial
"targeted and vengeful" and an attempt to muzzle the press, was
acquitted of the charges.
Although Greece has a double jeopardy law, the prosecutor
successfully argued that he be tried again by a higher court,
claiming to have new evidence and saying the verdict was legally
Vaxevanis was presenting his defence behind closed doors. A
verdict could come as early as Tuesday and, if found guilty, he
could be jailed for up to two years or face a fine.
The "Lagarde List", with the names of 2,059 Greeks with HSBC
bank accounts in Switzerland to be probed for possible tax
evasion, was given to Greece by French authorities in 2010.
The saga of how the list was passed from one senior Greek
official to the next and misplaced at one point without anyone
apparently taking action riveted the country.
The list - named after IMF chief and then-finance minister
Christine Lagarde - features dozens of prominent business
figures including a handful of shipping tycoons, companies and
two politicians. It also includes a painter, an actress and many
listed as architects, doctors, lawyers, and housewives.
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)