OPINION

A legal challenge

The government may not have reacted to the decision by Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis to convoke the plenary session of Greece’s appeals court judges to reconsider cases of alleged criminal activities by telecoms tycoon Socrates Kokkalis, and alleged stock exchange manipulations by certain businessmen. However, just a few days after the prosecutor’s decision, we heard a chorus of statements by government officials and certain media organizations that all had the basic aim of undermining the Supreme Court prosecutor by suggesting his actions hid political motives. But neither the anonymous government cadres nor the businessman in question have touched upon the basic argument with which Kroustallakis has justified his intervention – that «it is not a sound reflection of legal procedure when rulings by the prosecutor and magistrate are contradictory.» Of course, this is not the first time that the government, finding itself unable to manipulate a senior legal official, attempts to undermine and negate the official’s activities. However, if the phenomenon of corruption in public life is as widespread as most Greeks believe it to be, then there is no point in talking about purging the system. This can only be carried out by an incorruptible and independent judicial machine. It was doubtless with this in mind that Kroustallakis stated that 2003 would be the «year of the prosecutor.»