Foreigners get stiffer sentences

The Greek judicial system punishes foreign nationals with significantly heavier penalties for drug-related offenses than Greek defendants facing the same charges, a new study has found. According to a study carried out by University of Peloponnese criminologist Vassilis Karydis, the average jail sentence for a Greek defendant convicted of trading in soft drugs such as cannabis or ecstasy pills is 4.8 years, compared to 8.9 years for a foreign defendant. The same apparent discrimination applies in cases of trading in hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, where Greek nationals get sentences ranging between 4.3 and eight years, depending on the quantity of narcotics involved, while foreign nationals get terms of between 7.4 and 11 years. The study, carried out on a sample of 767 convicts of drug-related charges, also highlighted apparent discrimination between foreign nationals of different origins, with Albanians reportedly receiving the longest average jail terms of 10.5 years, compared to 8.3 years for Africans and 6.5 for Iraqis, Kurds and Pakistanis.