A Greek journalist arrested for publishing the names of more than 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts has appeared in court charged with breach of privacy.
Kostas Vaxevanis, a celebrated investigative journalist and publisher of the Hot Doc magazine, was given a three-day extension to challenge the charges on November 1.
If convicted, Vaxevanis could face a year in prison, plus a fine of 30,000 euros.
He insists the published list, which features names of prominent businessmen and politicians as well as housewives, beauticians and produce salesmen, was given to Greek authorities three years ago by the then-French finance minister Christine Lagarde, in a bid to crack down on tax evasion.
The list was initially leaked by an HSBC bank employee in Switzerland where the accounts - estimated to hold 1.5 billion euros - were held.
French, German and Italian authorities have since used them in separate pursuits against potential tax dodgers.
"Being wealthy isn't a crime," said Harris Economopoulos, one of the attorneys representing Vaxevanis.
"But when you have a nation of people who have endured enormous sacrifices over the past few years and they face added austerity - well, it's their right to know what's going on with this list and whether a political cover-up is at stake."
With tens of thousands of Greeks following protest tweets and name-and-shame campaigns going viral on the internet, the dramatic arrest of Vaxevanis and developments surrounding the case have cast a pal over the government's bid to secure extra aid and time from its lenders to fix the faltering Greek economy and endemic weaknesses like corruption and tax evasion.
As Vaxevanis headed for trial, a prominent centre-left newspaper published the so-called Lagarde list to an even bigger audience of readers.
Neither the publisher, nor editor of the Ta Nea daily were arrested.
The case has stoked public fury for weeks as two finance ministers plus a host of judicial and tax officials have exchanged blame in a game of political 'hot potato'.
Last week George Papaconstantinou, the socialist finance minister who initially received the list from Ms Lagarde, said the list he was given included 1,991 Greeks.
He told a parliamentary committee investigating the case that he passed the list to the head of the country's financial crimes squad, instructing his office to make a copy of the memory stick.
Neither the original nor the copy have been found. Athens meanwhile has requested a fresh copy from the French government.
"Instead of arresting the potential tax evaders and the ministers who had the lists in their hands, they're trying to arrest the truth and the stifle the freedom of the press," Vaxevanis said.