Judges told not to fill up prisons

The recently appointed head of the Supreme Court yesterday called on judges who fear being suspected of corruption not to be overzealous in their sentencing as Greece’s jails are bursting. Romylos Kedikoglou became president of the Supreme Court in June in the wake of the biggest corruption scandal to ever hit the judiciary. Seven judicial officials have been sacked since January and at least a dozen more are facing charges. However, Kedikoglou is concerned that judges who fear they might be accused of being corrupt due to the climate that has been created are now enforcing the law too rigidly. As a result, he instructed judges not to be more strict than is necessary, not to be too harsh about releasing prisoners and not to be too keen to remand suspects in custody. «The prisons are full,» said Kedikoglou. Greek prisons currently house some 9,500 inmates – almost double their capacity. Last week, the head of the Supreme Court ordered judges to clear up their backlog of cases by next October or face disciplinary action.