Uneasiness between gov’t and judiciary

It was inevitable that Deputy Public Order Minister Christos Markayiannakis would be thrown out of the government – not only for the offensive comments he made against Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos, who is investigating claims that Pakistani immigrants were interrogated last July, but also because of his attempt to cover up his actions, to the extent of misleading the prime minister. The fact that the former deputy was unaware of the existence of evidence of his indiscretion – namely, a recorded tape, which was immediately aired and thus disproved his claims not to have insulted Linos – only served to aggravate his situation and accelerate his dismissal. According to sources, there is some discomfort in certain government circles about the Supreme Court prosecutor heading an investigation into the alleged involvement of Greek state officials in secret interrogations of immigrants living in Greece by foreign services. There is similar uneasiness about Linos heading the probe into whether police were to blame for the escape of a Russian criminal during a jail transfer and the latter’s death a few days later. So the former minister’s criticism of the Supreme Court prosecutor’s initiatives could lead one to conclude that a conflict exists between the government and judiciary. In any case, a constitutional review would be an opportunity for provisions safeguarding the independence of the judicial sector to be upgraded – and this would help governments of the future avert transgressions.

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