Judges, prosecutors accuse minister of interfering in their work

Judges, prosecutors accuse minister of interfering in their work

Greece’s union of judges and prosecutors on Thursday slammed Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis for insinuating that judicial officials handling two major corruption cases are deliberately stalling the investigation.

“At a time when European and Greek legislation fully protect the presumption of innocence, a government minister brutally violates this principle,” the union said in a statement.

“We stress that the minister's attempt to intervene in the work of the judicial and prosecution officials is an institutional aberration, since it constitutes a direct violation of the principle of separation of powers,” it added.

The union called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to condemn Polakis’ statements and prevent it from happening again.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Polakis named specific judicial officials handling the alleged mismanagement of funds at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) and the alleged kickback scandal involving Swiss drugmaker Novartis, claiming he has submitted to them “a wealth of evidence” that proves “beyond doubt” the misuse of state money.

“I ask today, publically, a series of questions on the judicial development of certain cases which have been at the center of public opinion in our country and which have been unjustifiably delayed in my opinion, which is obviously anything but a coincidence,” he wrote. 

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