OPINION

Seven years of corruption

As reports emerged of indictments against allegedly corrupt judges who have been referred to the Supreme Court for dismissal, ordinary people naturally remain more concerned than relieved by the ongoing purge in the judiciary. According to the indictment, court of first instance judge Evangelos Kalousis had broken «all moral boundaries» over the past seven years. The document lists his alleged criminal activities as including blackmail, prostitution of foreign women, illegal adoption, and contacts with drug dealers. Kalousis’s reckless behavior was facilitated by the absence of all control mechanisms and his own blatant sense of impunity. For someone to graduate from misdemeanors to crime, he must be certain that he is immune to institutional control. Or, perhaps worse, he has turned such institutions into allies. The illegal activities of Archimandrite Iakovos Yiossakis and convicted drug dealer Apostolos Vavilis suggest the existence of a ring involving judges, lawyers, churchmen, politicians, and police officers. The existence of such a ring, should it be confirmed by the judicial investigation, is more than merely disquieting. But let’s assume it was just a case of lax monitoring. Before Kalousis was promoted to court of first instance president, he was a junior judge for three years and judge for at least seven. He presided over hundreds of cases, testing the strength of the justice system’s control mechanism in misdemeanor cases and eventually also in criminal ones (as is apparent in the text of the indictment, which claims that his illegal activities cover at least the past seven years). This is highly revelatory, for the 30 cases of corrupt judges now being investigated are far from new. Any renewed publicity they have gained is due to TV dirt-digger Makis Triantafyllopoulos’s reporting.