In a letter to the Athens Bar Association, lawyer Ioanna Lachana has requested that the Bar’s disciplinary committee review the statements and actions of lawyer and government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.
The letter, addressed to Athens Bar Association President Dimitris Vervesos, lambastes Tzanakopoulos over his statements attacking businessman Vangelis Marinakis.
“You, as President of the Athens Bar Association, the largest Bar Association of the country, with the stature of your institutional mission, have only two (2) choices before you. You can either launch ex officio (and from a sense of duty) disciplinary proceedings, or remain silent. The choice is yours,” the letter states.
Lachana says that there has been an unprecedented, from the perspective of the rule of law, attack by a high-ranking government official against a Greek citizen.
The full text of Ms. Lachanas’ letter follows:
To: President of the Athens Bar Association
Mr. Dimitris Vervesos
We recently bore witness to an unprecedented, for a state operating under the rule of law, attack of a government member against a Greek citizen, in clear violation of our entire jurisprudential system and of existing supra-national commitments, arising from International Treaties (The European Convention on Human Rights – which pertains to civil and political rights).
This illegal characterisation of a citizen (which in order to maintain my dignity I refuse to reiterate) becomes a monstrosity, from the moment that its authorship (at least initially) was accepted by a lawyer and government spokesman, who only later retreated and attributed it to the head of the executive branch of government, thus lending even greater weight to the encroachment on legal, constitutional individual rights and freedoms, which are guaranteed by international treaties.
As you well know, we are not only Greek citizens, but also servants of Justice, engaged in the mission of a lawyer, and that position does not permit us to remain silent, to remain speechless, in the wise words of the people, from whom we demand respect.
After all, there has been enough speechlessness on the part of professional, academic unions and associations that are so verbose on other issues, and a radio silence from the country’s law schools, academic associations, judges’ associations, and other nationwide organisations.
We, however, are not entitled to remain silent for yet another reason. A member of our Bar Association participated – if he did not in fact take the lead – in this unprecedented violation. Due to that capacity of his, disciplinary action against him should be launched.
You, as President of the Athens Bar Association, the largest Bar Association of the country, with the stature of your institutional mission, have only two (2) choices before you. You can either launch ex officio (and from a sense of duty) disciplinary proceedings, or remain silent. The choice is yours.
With salutations of collegiality,
Ioanna P. Lachana
1. By a stroke of good fortune, I am acquainted with neither of the “leading persons”
2. It is self-evident that the Greek citizen will surely be vindicated by the European Court of Human Rights, on the basis of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, due to the public expression of an opinion against him, regarding a pending court case of his, by a government member.
3. Our country, Mr, President, did not reach this point on automatic pilot, but rather with the obvious participation, and/or collaboration of many, due to either ulterior motives or ignorance. The age of “innocence”, however, is gone and will not return. No one is entitled to either shut their eyes or display indifference, if we do not wish to crash on the rocks again, as this time they will be sharper.
Resistance and vigilance are a duty for all of us.