Supreme Court President Vasiliki Thanou said on Monday that judges were being bullied and intimidated as part of “methodical efforts” by third parties on behalf of those implicated in corruption cases.
Speaking at an event marking the 21st anniversary of the National School of Judges, Thanou said judges would resist attempts to influence them.
“Recently, at a time when Greek judges and prosecutors have intensified their efforts to investigate and penalize corruption, we have seen efforts [by third parties] on behalf of those implicated to methodically slander and intimidate prosecutors and even the highest-ranking judges,” said Thanou, who also served briefly as the country’s first female prime minister, leading Greece’s interim government up until last September’s elections.
Thanou has recently been targeted by Greek bankster, Andreas Vgenopoulos, implicated in the engineered financial crisis in Cyprus.
He took legal action against Thanou alleging bribery of judicial officials and attempted blackmail after Thanou desperately attempted to put an investigation into Vgenopoulos back on track (something she is obliged to do as President of the Supreme Court) in a pattern of misusing the empty forms of law to persecute opponents and pervert the course of justice.
In her position, I would file a counter suit since the intention of Vgengopolis and his associates to avoid prosecution into the engineered collapse of the Laiki Bank and the Cyprus financial meltdown by obstructing a proper investigation is clear. His biased and wilful interpretation of Thanou’s actions to try to get the investigation back on track quickly, as she is obliged to do as part of her function, is a cynical misuse of criminal justice proceedings.
The fact that the bullying of judges and corruption in Greece is escalating in spite of a commitment by the government of Alexis Tsipras to improve the justice system as part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in August 2015 in return for bailout funds should be a matter of real concern for all creditor countries.
Corruption costs Greece 33 billion euros a year, the country’s top anti corruption official calculated in 2015.
I have myself heard of credible anecdotes involving officials in the Syriza governments who ask for bribes of 20,000 euros or more just to do the paperwork for new business projects, and who categorically refuse to do their job until the bribe is paid even though the projects potentially bring large numbers of jobs.