OPINION

Presumed guilty?

In the ongoing trial of November 17 suspects, prosecutor Christos Lambrou forgot to include no less than 52 briefs in the bill of indictment. Then last Friday – probably following a briefing on all that had been written and said about his omissions – Lambrou attempted to solve the problem, in the way that schoolchildren rush to provide their teachers with a «revised statement» when they realize they have forgotten something. In the case of the N17 trial, however, there is much more at stake – 10, 20, 40 years more or less in jail, and the credibility of the judicial system itself. So the prosecutor said: «From excessive contemplation in studying the bill and the briefs, I lost count. Please excuse me if I omitted any of the defendants’ achievements. However, I will not tire you with their deeds which I neglected to mention: You should declare them guilty.» I don’t know a lot about the law, but it seems to me that with such mass-administered proposals for conviction we are not witnessing the «fair trial» ministers and judges promised us. I doubt that the best way to honor our legal tradition is to find all defendants guilty on all charges so that the judges do not get tired. In this way, we are embracing the dogma of «guilty until proven innocent,» which deems it acceptable for someone presumed guilty of five crimes to be implicated in another five – or 52.