NEWS

Judge sacked over delayed decisions

While the probe into judges suspected of trial fixing deepens, the Supreme Court yesterday sacked a lower court judge for undue delays in deciding on cases he heard. He had also been involved, however, in investigating a controversial former prosecutor. The Supreme Court plenary session decided, by 24 votes for and 21 against, to remove court of first instance judge Giorgos Papardoukakis from the rolls for failing to render timely decisions in Corfu, where he was last employed. It was also revealed that, while serving as a prosecutor in the town of Thebes, he had delayed for over two years the investigation of former prosecutor Constantina Bourboulia, who had been accused of mishandling an investigation into stock market improprieties. Another court of first instance judge, Antonia Ilia, probed about her early release of convicted drug dealers, has been temporarily relieved of her duties following the recommendation of Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras. A third judge, whose name was not released and who is based in the city of Volos, in Thessaly, has been placed under investigation by Supreme Court Deputy President Petros Kakkalis. The judge is said to be a relative of a lawyer involved in defending Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis, who has been implicated in trial-fixing cases. According to sources, the judge is accused of having favored a monastery in Makrynitsa, near Volos, by setting excessively high prices for the value of its property, partly expropriated for the construction of a ring road around Volos. Also yesterday, five heads of judges’ associations intervened in the debate yesterday to acknowledge that «some judges betray their oath,» but also to complain about the prevailing «Orwellian climate terrorizing (the judges).» More specifically, they attacked electronic media for violating judges’ privacy by using wiretaps and hidden cameras. «Innocents are dragged through the mud, institutions are debased, the freedom of communication and expression is disrupted and the resulting confusion favors cover-ups,» said Constantine Kousoulis, president of the Association of Council of State Judges.