Court staff call walkout after Athens stabbing

Greek judges and court staff are to walk off the job on Monday demanding improved security at the country’s courts after a judicial secretary was violently stabbed by a convict at the capital’s main court complex Friday.

The union of judges called a five-hour strike for Monday, to start at 10 a.m., and the union of court employees followed suit, calling a three-hour walkout from noon for the same day.

The move came shortly after the secretary of a magistrate was stabbed three times by an Iranian convict wielding a makeshift knife inside the court complex. The 36-year-old woman was transferred to Evangelismos hospital where doctors said her life was not at risk.

According to sources, the assailant who stabbed the secretary was a 37-year-old Iranian convict who was given conditional release last month from a prison on the island of Chios where he had been serving a 15-month term on gun offenses. He had been visiting the court complex to collect a document with details of the terms of his release, sources said.

He was later moved to the Athens police headquarters where sources described him as being “psychologically unstable.”

Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou said Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had asked for security to be intensified in courts across the country to ensure that other judicial officials do not face similar assaults.

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