Law for early prison re­lease ex­tended, re­vised

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A con­tro­ver­sial law that was in­tro­duced by the left­ist-led gov­ern­ment three years ago to ease over­crowd­ing at Greek pris­ons by grant­ing early re­lease to of­fend­ers with health prob­lems has been ex­tended by Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michalis Kalo­girou with some pro­vi­sions aimed at en­sur­ing that the re­form is not abused by in­mates.

The so-called Paraskevopou­los law, named af­ter for­mer min­is­ter Nikos Paraskevopou­los, has prompted ob­jec­tions from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum with a re­cent spike in vi­o­lent crime be­ing par­tially at­trib­uted to the law’s pro­vi­sions. In­stances of se­ri­ous of­fend­ers be­ing re­leased and com­mit­ting even more heinous crimes have fu­eled the most ve­he­ment ob­jec­tions. The 52-year-old drug deal­ing con­vict ac­cused of the bru­tal mur­der of a 32year-old tax of­fi­cer is a case in point. An­other case that prompted an­gry re­ac­tions was that of Aris­tides Floros, a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive of power sup­plier En­erga who got early re­lease from prison for em­bez­zle­ment us­ing a doc­tor’s cer­tifi­cate that turned out to be a forgery. His case prompted a prose­cu­tors’ in­ves­ti­ga­tion which un­cov­ered a sim­i­lar in­stance of forgery and led cor­rup­tion prose­cu­tors to ev­i­dence of a crim­i­nal racket is­su­ing forged health doc­u­ments to get early re­lease for con­victs.

Un­der the new pro­vi­sions, if an of­fender who se­cures early re­lease with the Paraskevopou­los law re­of­fends and is con­victed to one to three years in prison, they will be obliged to serve the full length of their orig­i­nal sen­tence. The new pro­vi­sions will re­tain a set of ex­emp­tions laid out by Stavros Kon­to­nis, Kalo­girou’s pre­de­ces­sor, namely that those con­victed of se­ri­ous crimes such as man­slaugh­ter and rape should not be el­i­gi­ble for early re­lease. In such cases, con­victs may be able to get early re­lease by wear­ing an elec­tronic se­cu­rity bracelet.

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