Siemens trial sparks war of words

Of­fi­cials lash out at me­dia leaks blam­ing pros­e­cu­tors for big de­lay in pro­ceed­ings

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Jus­tice of­fi­cials have lashed out against sug­ges­tions leaked to the me­dia that ap­peals court pros­e­cu­tors were re­spon­si­ble for the in­def­i­nite post­pone­ment of the Siemens cash-for-con­tract deals trial due to a tech­ni­cal­ity.

The union of judges and pros­e­cu­tors is­sued a tough state­ment yes­ter­day, say­ing that an ef­fort was un­der way to bring the coun­try’s jus­tice sys­tem into dis­re­pute, cre- at­ing “in­se­cu­rity among cit­i­zens.”

The an­nounce­ment came af­ter the newly ap­pointed Supreme Court pros­e­cu­tor Xeni Dim­itriou or­dered deputy pros­e­cu­tor Anna Zairi on Wed­nes­day to con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the rea­sons behind the trial’s de­lay. The much pub­li­cized sus­pen­sion, which crit­ics have said is an em­bar­rass­ment to the coun­try’s left­ist-led gov­ern­ment, also prompted Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras to con­tact Jus­tice Min­is­ter Nikos Paraskevopou­los to push for the trial’s re­sump­tion as as soon as pos­si­ble.

Paraskevopou­los met with Dim­itriou yes­ter­day, re­quest­ing that an ex­cep­tion be made for the case as well as that against for­mer trans­port min­is­ter Ta­sos Man­telis – which was also post­poned – so that they jump the queue and be ex­pe­dited.

How­ever, Jus­tice Min­istry sources said yes­ter­day that the time frame will be des­ig­nated af­ter at least two months, mainly be­cause the in­dict­ment rul­ing must be trans­lated into Ger­man and French for the one French-Swiss and 13 Ger­man de­fen­dants. This was the rea­son why the trial – in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that Siemens bribed politi­cians to award the Ger­man com­pany the con­tract to digi­tial­ize Greece’ OTE tele­com – was post­poned.

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