Lawyers’ strike delays key cases


An ongoing lawyer’s strike has caused delays in the Noor 1 drug-smuggling case and the trial of Greece’s neo-fascist Golden Dawn party after a refusal by the Athens bar association to exempt high-profile cases from the action.

The delay means that key suspects in both cases could be released due to the expiration of the 18-month pretrial custody period.

The Piraeus criminal appeals court on Tuesday criticized the defense of the key suspect in the Noor 1 case, describing their abstention from the proceedings as an abusive tactic. The lawyers said they would return to court Thursday.

The 63-year-old businessman Giorgos B., aka Captain George, the mastermind of the racket responsible for assigning tasks to the gang members who shipped the heroin into Greece, will reach the 18-month limit on February 22.

Meanwhile, the advocate for the family of murdered rapper Pavlos Fyssas is expected to submit a request on Thursday to the Athens bar association demanding that the case be exempt from strike action.

The trial at Korydallos maximum-security prison was interrupted a month ago. Giorgos Roupakias, charged with Fyssas’s murder, is set to be released from custody in early March.

Greek lawyers are on strike over planned pension reforms.