Top judge says ministry, lawyers to blame for delays in GD trial

Top judge says ministry, lawyers to blame for delays in GD trial

Supreme Court president Vassiliki Thanou, who served as caretaker prime minister last September, on Monday criticized the Athens Bar Association (DSA) and the Justice Ministry for failing to take action to ensure the trial of Giorgos Roupakias and other Golden Dawn members was completed before their pretrial detention ended.

Roupakias is to be released next month after serving the maximum 18 months in custody but his trial for the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas is nowhere near over. In a statement on Monday, Thanou said that the DSA should have given special dispensation to the lawyers involved in the trial so they could continue to appear in court despite a strike over the last few weeks. She called on the lawyers’ group to rectify this straight away.

Thanou also said that the Justice Ministry failed to live up to pledges to find a courtroom where the case could be heard on a daily basis. The trial was held every other day in a special courtroom in Korydallos Prison.

Magda Fyssa, the mother of the murdered man, said she had not expected such delays in the trial. She called on the police to ensure that Roupakias is properly guarded when he is released. “We’d better not find out one day that the murderer has escaped,” she told Mega TV.

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