New law brings Greece in line with rest of Europe
Kerin Hope’s article on the Financial Times webpage today, concerning the amendments to the Greek penal codes (“Greek law change viewed as backtracking on money laundering”, November 14), is entirely misleading.
The amendment in question took place in order for Greek criminal law to be fully aligned with the European Convention on Human Rights and with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Prior to the amendment any citizen could be deprived of his/her property for an indefinite period of time without any charges having been pressed, merely through a decision of a single prosecutor.
Due to structural deficiencies and a defensive attitude on the part of the prosecutors to avoid potential accusations for releasing assets, prior law might lead to all citizens suffering undue property restrictions without any charges against them, which would amount to a violation of the rule of law unknown to European legal systems.
Further, the article underestimates the overriding fact that the new law provides that within a time limit of three months from its entry into effect, a judicial council composed of three high ranking judges will decide for pending cases whether to press charges and maintain property restrictions or otherwise release assets from unnecessary state burdens.
-George Gerapetritis, Minister of State, Greece