Bid to regulate pre-trial custody
A Justice Ministry bill due to be tabled in Parliament aims to meet European Union standards on detention and decongest crowded jails by reducing the number of people being detained pending trial, Kathimerini has learned. Defendants will be remanded in custody only for crimes carrying a jail sentence of more than 10 years. Those facing charges of sexual procurement, embezzlement, fraud and theft will not be detained. Crimes against minors or violations of immigration laws, which carry jail sentences of less than 10 years, will be treated as exceptions and defendants will be detained. Also those with prior convictions for crimes committed with malice aforethought will be detained. Of some 12,000 inmates in Greek prisons, 3,182 are awaiting trial. According to the Council of Europe, the average period of pre-trial detention in Greece is 365 days, three times longer than in other European Union states.