Judges hit back at po­lit­i­cal crit­i­cism

Union takes is­sue with com­ments by pres­i­dent, min­is­ter ques­tion­ing de­ci­sions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Ten­sions are sim­mer­ing be­tween the ju­di­ciary and the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment af­ter the na­tional union of judges and pros­e­cu­tors lashed out at re­cent state­ments by se­nior of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Karolos Papou­lias, that ques­tioned the rec­ti­tude of a se­ries of ju­di­cial de­ci­sions on cases re­lat­ing to cor­rup­tion and do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism.

In a state­ment, the union dis- missed as “un­ac­cept­able” re­cent com­ments by Papou­lias, who ex­pressed dis­sat­is­fac­tion at the ac­quit­tal in De­cem­ber of sev­eral sus­pects im­pli­cated in the Athens Stock Ex­change scan­dal. The pres­i­dent had pressed for a more ef­fi­cient crack­down on cor­rup­tion, declar­ing that “heads must roll.” The judges’ union re­torted that the ATHEX shares bub­ble was pri­mar­ily a “se­ri­ous po­lit­i­cal scan­dal” but that no politi­cians had taken any of the blame. It added that the role of ju­di­cial of­fi­cials was to “dis­pense jus­tice in a pru­dent and in­de­pen­dent fash­ion and not to en­sure that heads roll.”

The union also lashed out at re­cent com­ments by Pub­lic Or­der Min­is­ter Nikos Den­dias blam­ing the ju­di­ciary for the fact that con­victed Novem­ber 17 ter­ror­ist Christodou­los Xeros has gone miss­ing while on leave from Ko­ry­dal­los Prison. “No one has the right to write off the dif­fi­cult, painful and dif­fi­cult task of ju­di­cial of­fi­cials and to ig­nore the fact that it was them who in­ter­ro­gated, in­dicted, tried and con­victed in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties,” the union said, adding that “in­di­vid­ual cases” should not eclipse the achieve­ments of the ju­di­cial sec­tor.

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