The leadership of the Supreme Court on trial

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By Dionysis Goussetis

As far as I know, thereis no precedent in the history of the Greek state. The President of the Supreme Court and two of its Vice-Presidents will appear on 9 October before a hearing in the Special Court of Miscarriage of Justice. Along with them, five other Supreme Court and Appeal Court judges involved in the case of “N. Kotzias v Athens Review of Books”.

The pimple had to pop. The pimple is a Court of Appeals decision which ruled, inter alia, that Minister Kotzias is a founding member of the KKE, founded in 1918! The Court found for Mr. Kotzias, who wants to crush the magazine economically because «he was defamed». The pimple grew bigger with a Supreme Court decision, which upheldthe Court of Appeals ruling in its entirety. A decision that is completely hollow. A decision not responding to the opinion of the judge rapporteur, adopt it or to refute it, as it happens in trials. A decision that resulted from a trial marked by the unprecedented phenomenon of the judge rapporteur voting against herself (!) without explanation. A judgment that was criticized by international authoritative media.

And the pimple bloated. The President of the second court, Mr. Peppas, was appointed by the council of ministers of SYRIZA President of the Supreme Court. In fact, the Supreme Court remained headless for a few months until Mr. Peppas had met the minimum-service requirement. The rapporteur, Ms Zontanou, was appointed Vice-President.So did the judge member, Mr. Lekkas. However, Mr Kotzias is a member of the Cabinet, who appointed those who ruled in his favor. This makes the appointments de facto questionable as to their legality. But this did not frustrate either the appointees or the ministers. What frustrated them was Mr Pikramenos and the others, whom they accused in the case of Novartis.

So, if I were to adopt the kind of sensitivity that drives SYRIZA, I would repeat for the supreme judiciary the cynical statements made by Mr. Kotzias and Mr. Kontonis for senior politicians: «I hope they will prove their innocence.» If I was Mr. Polakis I would repeat that «the party is now beginning». But because I do not want to be them, I expect something else from this trial: to prove how much justice is left in the country. In the Special Court of Miscarriage of Justice, all institutions of Justice are represented at a high level.

 

Kathimerini, 6 June 2018

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Στα Ελληνικά/In original Greek