The president of the Council of State, Nikos Sakellariou, has publicly accused Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis of meddling in the work of the judiciary when he criticised the high court’s recent ruling regarding the income and assets declaration of judicial functionaries.
In October, Sakellariou issued a temporary injunction blocking a joint ministerial decision, which had already been published in the Government Gazette, which required judicial functionaries to file income and assets declaration.
At the time, Sakellariou had cited issues regarding the constitution of the organ to which the declarations will be filed, asserting that it violates articles 26 and 87 of the Greek constitution, and so the ministerial decision was blocked.
The president of the Association of Prosecutors, Dimitris Asprogerakas, also lambasted Kontonis’ allegation that the judiciary had for over a year delayed handing down its ruling on the alleged rigging of football games.
Appellate court judge Nikos Salatas complained that Kontonis has made a habit of slamming announcements of the Association of Judges and Prosecutors.
Kontonis said the government supports the work of the judiciary, but criticised the handling of the football ruling and the judges’ public announcements.
‘’I had hoped that the pointless dispute between the government and the judiciary had ended, but I heard the justice minister rekindling it. I accuse him of a raw intervention in the work of the judiciary. We take orders from no one,’’ Sakellariou declared.
Sakellariou said he cannot speak publicly regarding the requirement that judicial functionaries file income and assets declarations, as the case is still being debate in chambers, and he underlined that the legitimisation of the judiciary derives from the constitution.