NEWS

Head of top court wades into dispute between gov't, judiciary

TAGS: Politics, Justice

The president of the country's highest administrative court, the Council of State, on Monday waded into an escalating war of words between the government and the judiciary, calling on both sides to back down. 

In a statement, Nikos Sakellariou, who heads the Council of State, spoke of a systematic attempt to "shake citizens' trust in the justice system and its functionaries."

Issuing his statement on the anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece, following the fall of the junta, Sakellariou noted that the attacks by the leftist-led government on the judiciary were "completely unjustified" and "unprovoked."

"I condemn, in the most categorical way, the completely unjustified attacks from wherever they may come," he said, noting that the assaults "directly target the rule of law, of which the independent judiciary is a key pylon."

Sakellariou referred to "unwise acts, abuse, unjustified and derogatory expressions as well as offensive references to judicial functionaries and suggestions that they are refusing to fulfill their basic obligations."

The court president called on "all sides to show the requisite self-restraint to prevent the extremely serious institutional crisis that has been provoked by these acts and has led to this wretched exchange from escalating."

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