The concern, within the government, about different criminal treatment of people who repeatedly commit criminal misdemeanors was made public by the Minister of State, Makis Voridis, in an interview with the “Mega” television station.
On the occasion, in particular, of the clashes between anti-authoritarian and far-right groups the other day in Monastiraki and the fact that those arrested were released, the Minister of State questioned whether, when there is repeated commission of criminal misdemeanors, “do we have to weigh this case somehow?” Because obviously the criminal framework is not enough” for not committing, again, criminal acts by the same person.
“I know the Ministry of Justice is thinking about this, to propose legislation […] I know that in the mind of the Minister of Justice – we discussed this – it is something that concerns him”, underlined Mr. Voridis. Describing, after all, the current reality, with the granting of postponements, redeemable sentences, etc., he concluded that “it has no real criminal consequence”.
Changing the subject, to that of the fatal train accident in Tempi, he noted in the introduction that “the case is at the level of criminal justice and I understand that the case will concern the Parliament” (thus referring to the proposal, by the KKE, for the establishment of a commission of inquiry , as in the preliminary announcement, on behalf of PASOK, for the establishment of a preliminary investigation committee). In addition, “a political argument was developed before the election and was judged politically through the election. I’m not saying that this case doesn’t have to be investigated by the courts, and if the opposition deems it necessary, the Greek Parliament will conduct a further investigation.”
Called to take a position on the statement made on Wednesday by Labor Minister Adonis Georgiadis, he said that “Adonis made it a priority. What he said; That accuracy concerns more, immigration concerns more, unemployment concerns more. Because all of this is, in fact, of more concern, this does not mean that the Parliament should not deal with it as well.”
Analyzing the criminal aspect, he recalled “what we have said is that the due and proper path of judicial investigation will be followed, which is being followed. And which, as far as I know, has opened up control not only to those who are involved in the sense of the direct and natural perpetrator, the station master who did not do what he should have done, etc., but has be opened also at the level of the responsibilities of the representatives of the companies. Justice does such an investigation.”
At the same time, “when a preliminary ruling is requested – I am talking about PASOK – we are talking about the criminal responsibilities of political figures. Let’s submit the proposal, let’s see its content.” However, he continued, “New Democracy has not accepted any criminal responsibility of any political person. Clear things.” He clarified, however, at another point that for there to be criminal responsibilities of politicians, “someone should say that a minister did not take a specific action and accepted the possibility, at least, of such an accident occurring by not taking this action”. While for the statement, in the Parliament, of the former Minister of Infrastructure – Transport, Kostas Karamanlis, about the safety of the railways, he replied that “this can be judged politically”.
As for the proposal to set up a commission of inquiry, “this is something we will consider in the next one or two days”. However, he added, “these issues were discussed at length during the previous parliamentary term, these issues are not being discussed now. I cannot erase the fact that these are things that have already been discussed and two elections have been mediated.”
In any case, “the issue is sensitive, because there are all those who seek justice and punishment for the people they have lost. Well, one has to deal with it seriously and sensitively. What does seriousness and sensitivity mean here? Is there an investigation by the judiciary? Yes. Seamlessly? Correctly. Have things been done on the part of the government in the previous period? Of course. Conclusion of the committee made by Gerapetritis, but also other conclusions, which complete the scope of the audit? All this has happened.” And the fact that “elections intervene”, this does not mean that they “judicially close a case”.
The interview closed with the topic of the Beleris case: “We say from the first moment that this case against Beleris is a case, which was organized by the Albanian state. Now comes the only witness, there is no other […] and now says that it has been paid from secret funds of the Albanian police”, in order to testify the incriminating evidence he testified against Freddy Beleris. “The Albanian state is setting up this case so that Beleris is not elected, sworn in as mayor. Since we want to talk about the rule of law in Albania, the normal thing is to stop the process at this moment, for Beleris to be cleared of the charges and to go and take the oath normally”, the Minister of State emphasized in closing.