Supreme Court chief comes under fire over anniversary gala


Judicial authorities and MPs have lashed out at Supreme Court President Vassiliki Thanou over an event she is planning on Friday in celebration of the court’s 182nd anniversary.

Thanou has reportedly booked the events hall of a five-star hotel in Athens to hold the gala, which critics have dismissed as an unnecessary expense, especially as it is customary for institutions to celebrate only 50-year chapters of their history.

Skeptics have also pointed to the fact that Thanou is due to retire at the end of the month, suggesting that she is actually throwing a lavish party to celebrate her tenure at the country’s highest court.

“An anniversary celebration for justice held in secret from judicial officials and judicial unions is out of the ordinary,” the Union of Judges and Prosecutors, which was not invited to the event, said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement was prompted by a question raised in Parliament earlier this week by lawmakers with centrist To Potami, who asked Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis to investigate whether the event is being funded by sponsors or by the state. They also challenged the purpose of the gala, saying that the Supreme Court has not celebrated an anniversary in decades and that its 182nd seems an odd milestone to justify such an expense.

“We consider it the duty of the organizers and the Justice Ministry to provide clear explanations and disperse any shadows and unanswered questions” regarding the event’s funding, the union said in its statement.

Meanwhile, sources have suggested that Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Dimitris Dasoulas recently resigned from the event’s planning committee over concerns regarding its funding.