Minister wants swifter justice

Long delays in concluding court cases could soon be a thing of the past if reforms promised yesterday by Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis are enacted. «Speeding up the justice system should be the new top priority for all members of the judiciary,» Hatzigakis said yesterday, hinting that court schedules could be extended past the current closing time of 3 p.m. «We can’t keep having dozens of cases postponed every day because of a civil service mentality,» he said. «Nor can cases be delayed because some judges are slow in issuing rulings.» Hatzigakis also urged judges to steer clear of «influence.» «Justice should remain independent and above influence and media sensationalism,» he said. An annual report on graft presented earlier this year by Greece’s general inspector of public administration, Leandros Rakintzis, revealed systematic abuse of the statute of limitations.