NEWS

Probe into ‘pressure’ on minister

An Athens prosecutor yesterday ordered an investigation into Wednesday’s claim by former Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos that he had come under indirect pressure from government colleagues to intervene in cases involving politicians. Stathopoulos, who lost his job in Tuesday’s reshuffle, had said isolated views felt he should be more active, in the sense that there should be intervention in charges by prosecutors against politicians or their associates. He said he had not been directly asked to intervene, but one felt that was the case. This mainly came from people who… did not know that an important principle of the rule of law is the independence of justice, the former minister and professor of law added. While government spokesman Christos Protopappas said Stathopoulos told him he had been referring to a general public attitude, Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos said it is inconceivable that we should be talking of interference in the course of justice.