Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis
The government is seeking to bring the statute of limitations for liability in cases of mismanagement of state money down to 10 years, according to sources from both the Justice Ministry and the State Audit Council. That means that after a decade, it will no longer be possible to bring charges against a public sector official suspected of mismanaging state funds.
The ministry is planning to bring an amendment to that effect to Parliament in a bill regarding the incorporation of a European directive concerning equal treatment of people irrespective of racial or ethnic origin.
The amendment vote will also affect officials’ obligation to keep invoice documents. The required period will drop to 10 years from the 20 the law currently dictates.
In promoting the change in the law, the State Audit Council claimed that the 20-year statute of limitations hampers the inspections it conducts at local and regional authorities and the corporations and utility companies they own. Inspections are supposed to take place every year but are conducted on a random basis unless there is reason for a more general probe. The inspections mentioned in the amendment usually concern evidence that is provided after a criminal case is begun or a complaint is made.