Supreme Court weighs into row over deputy minister’s comments on judiciary

Supreme Court weighs into row over deputy minister’s comments on judiciary

Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani on Friday ordered a preliminary investigation into comments made earlier this week by Deputy Health Minister Pavlos Polakis suggesting that judges and prosecutors are involved in illegal rackets linked to the judiciary.

Polakis’s comments caused a furor, with the Union of Greek Judges and Prosecutors calling on President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to take a public stance on the issue and Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos (photo) having to answer on the issue in Parliament on Friday.

Koutzamani called for Polakis’s claims to be investigated and other “necessary prosecutorial action to be taken.”

Polakis said earlier this week that the “judiciary needs some new blood as many judges are dependent on and members of corrupt rings linked to the judiciary.”

When questioned about the issue in Parliament on Friday, Paraskevoulos said: “The Justice Ministry and myself have complete faith in the Greek justice system and the people that serve it… There is no category where there aren’t exceptions,” he said, adding “that these exceptions are institutionally scrutinized, however.”

The minister added that he upholds the right of politicians to defend their opinions, but said that he believes Polakis’s comments were not directed at any one person in particular.

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