Justice under threat

The wife of the special police guard who was seriously injured in an ambush in the Cretan village of Zoniana over a year ago has decided to withdraw from being a civil plaintiff in the ongoing trial. This is a puzzling development that should give rise to serious concern. If her withdrawal is the result of fear, which many suspect is the case, then we are witness to a serious failure on the part of our society. On the one hand, it would prove that in the small world of Zoniana, violence and a lack of accountability have so undermined traditional Cretan pride that even the tragic figure of the victim of the ambush, officer Stathis Lazaridis, does not provoke awe or regret among the defendants and their supporters. Instead, they seem to be trying to get their way by force and threats once again. On the other, our state fails to inspire confidence that it will show any interest in protecting those citizens who must shoulder the weight of a drive against crime that has been delayed for far too long. It is now up to the state to show that it is capable of clearing up an explosive situation without exposing innocent people to further danger.

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