Bill to tar­get bent of­fi­cials

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A new piece of draft leg­is­la­tion, to be sub­mit­ted in Par­lia­ment soon by Jus­tice Min­is­ter Haris Kas­tani­dis, aims to speed up the process of get­ting pub­lic of­fi­cials ac­cused of corruption to stand trial.

The ini­tia­tive aims to bring to ac­count of­fi­cials at min­istries and pub­lic com­pa­nies – rang­ing from min­is­ters to gen­eral sec­re­taries – who have been ac­cused of com­mit­ting crimes such as money laun­der­ing and tak­ing bribes. Min­is­ters will still be pro­tected by par­lia­men­tary im­mu­nity for the pe­riod dur­ing which they are in of­fice but can stand trial for crimes com­mit­ted when they did not hold power.

The goal is for the de­fen­dants to be brought to trial within eight months of the launch of the pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion into their al­leged of­fenses. In this way, Kas­tani­dis said yes­ter­day, the ma­jor­ity of such cases would be re­solved within a year.

Kas­tani­dis’s es­ti­mate might be am­bi­tious as the county’s la­bo­ri­ous jus­tice sys­tem has re­sulted in a back­log of tens of thou­sands of cases that are wait­ing to be heard.

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