TV licenses: Private e-mails of CoS top judge stir Greece’s political agenda & lead to multiple investigations
The prosecutor of Athens ordered urgent investigation, after the e-mail content and private data of the vice president of the Council of State were partly published in the press.
As the Council of State currently deals with constitutional conformity of the TV licenses law, many judges see an attempt to influence the CoS take a decision on the matter.
The e-mails are part of the private conversation of the CoS vice president with a what it seems his extramarital affair. Greek media lleged that the emails were intercepted by a state institution.
Several e-mails were published by website Zougla.gr on October 14th with the title “Who blackmails a member of the CoS with regards to TV licenses?” According to the website, the CoS member was in extramarital relationship with a married woman, a former candidate and current judge. The website alleged that according to the evidence the judge had illegally helped the woman pass the exams and be promoted in the judicial body. The e-mails were ‘recorded’ by state institutions at the end of 2014.
According to zougla.gr, the ‘scandal’ was already known to political circles and to a publisher.
On Sunday, Vima made a vague reference to the scandal, an independent MP asked a relevant question to the parliament. Yesterday, Tuesday, daily Avgi, the newspaper of SYRIZA,, published the full name of the judge on its front page.
Reason enough for some critics to blame the government for the leakage.
The leakage caused a storm of reactions especially among judicial circles but also in the parliament opposition.
The Association of Judges and Prosecutors and the Association of Administrative Judges issued a strong-wording statement, condemning the leakage and stressing that “the country’s judges watch with horror and great concern “the degradation of the public ethics”,” methods of fascist regimes” and “an attempt to blackmail the Supreme Court.”
The statement speaks of a typical phenomenon of the intermingling of “yellow press with economic or other interests” and note that “with such reports that have nothing to do with the public interest, the function of information and the service to truth, the privacy of a person, of a judge of recognized reputation is being compromised and distorted and offered prey […]”
Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos ordered a disciplinary investigation against the CoS vice president. According to reports, in 2014, the CoS Vice had showed strong “interest” to a student of the National School of Judges to which he maintained extramarital relationship, while later she entered the Council of State as a judge.
At the same time Paraskevopoulos Justice sent to the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court (Arios Pagos) samples of some of the reports. The prosecutor should investigate any evidence in the commitment of offenses such as “violation of private communication, receiving stolen goods, breach of communication confidentiality and use of information obtained, extortion, breach of duty.”
As usual, Greeks ended up again like that ⇓
PS hm… I suppose, in other countries, high-ranking officials would have resigned.