February 24, 2005

Investigation into judiciary probes higher



The crisis engulfing the country’s judiciary appeared to deepen yesterday after the justice minister ordered an investigation into the role of the Supreme Court deputy prosecutor in the alleged assignment of a case, involving a priest accused of being a middleman in a trial-fixing ring, to another prosecutor currently facing disciplinary measures.

“We are determined — and I think it has been made clear — to restore authority to the justice system and respect for the law,” said Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras.

He wrote to Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos and asked him to launch an investigation into a specific decision by his deputy, Antonis Plomaritis. The latter is alleged to have assigned a case involving Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis, who is currently in custody in Korydallos Prison pending trial on charges of stealing antiquities, to deputy appeals prosecutor Nikos Athanassopoulos. The case involved an appeal by Yiossakis to have a court decision against him quashed. ...

Meanwhile, Linos yesterday wrote to Papaligouras to inform him that he was against the idea, adopted by the Church of Greece Hierarchy on Saturday, to form a council of four top judges to investigate claims of scandals within the institution. Linos said that it was unthinkable, at a time when the Church and judiciary were being closely linked in a number of corruption allegations, that such a body be created. The Supreme Court prosecutor said that the formation of this type of council would give the impression of a cover-up.

Posted by kshaw at February 24, 2005 07:50 AM