Justice minister responds to criticism over Koufodinas furlough

Justice minister responds to criticism over Koufodinas furlough

Unbiased implementation of the law is what constitutes a state governed by law and order, Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis told lawmakers in Parliament on Thursday in response to criticism of a decision reached by the capital’s Korydallos Prison council to grant 48-hour furlough to convicted November 17 terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas.

“If the law is bad, then we’re open to opinions,” Kontonis said, addressing lawmakers with the opposition New Democracy party. “But the 2009 amendment was yours, [introduced by then citizens’ protection minister Nikos] Mr Dendias’s. If you didn’t want it, you should have changed it.”

Kontonis went on to stress that the process of prison leave is not intended to applaud or show tolerance for any inmate’s actions.

“Koufodinas is not being released, nor are his actions being judged again,” said Kontonis, adding that the inmate is not being judged on his opinions.

The minister added that the decision did not rest with the government but with prison authorities.

“Demanding explanations from the government over a body that you legislated is really crossing the line,” he said.

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