Ministry mulls tougher criminal negligence law

In the wake of the two bus tragedies that cost 37 lives in northern Greece this year, the government said yesterday it is planning to toughen legislation regarding outstanding cases of criminal negligence. Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos said there is a need for «existing legislation to be modernized in accordance with our tragic experiences with the [two] very serious accidents.» Petsalnikos, who was speaking in Thessaloniki, added that the ministry «is examining the possibility of making improvements regarding the penalties that are imposed and the possibility of detaining [pre-trial] people involved in such cases.» His remarks follow complaints by prosecutors that the law is too lenient on people accused of manslaughter through severe negligence. This has led to a spate of charges of «murder with possible malice aforethought.»