The dramatic delays in the trial of the case of the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas has dealt a severe blow to the prestige of the judiciary and to the rule of law. Five years after his murder in cold blood by the neo-Nazis of the Golden Dawn party, nobody knows if the trial will end and when.
All the chronic problems in the meting out of justice have been highlighted by this trial.
The lack of infrastructure, judges and prosecutors burdened by huge dockets, and weaknesses and errors in drafting the indictment has led to a major impasse.
That has resulted in the unavoidable rage of Fyssas’ relatives and of the public, due to the quagmire in an exceptionally important case with many parameters.
The inexplicable delay in finding a courtroom to try a case that is unprecedented in Europe, with dozens indicted and as many lawyers defending them, led to the loss of valuable time, for which the state is responsible.
Instead of giving the case absolute priority, only the presiding judge is involved exclusively with this case, as the other judges are also preoccupied with other cases. The result is that what is supposed to be the most important trial is being adjudicated only one day per week.
It is outrageous that no one in a position of responsibility has dealt with this foot-dragging. While the Nuremburg trials of Nazi crimes took only one year to complete, nobody knows if and when the trial of Greek neo-Nazis will finish.
Naturally, this is not the only trial with such exceptionally long delays. Those who have had the misfortune to seek justice the Greek court system know this very well.
However, basic logic dictates that care should have been taken to finish this trial as soon as possible, as it greatly transcends the boundaries of a simple criminal trial, and in the final analysis it involves the functioning of the democratic state.
It appears that once again democratic sensitivity and the demand for the rule of law have been lost in the bureaucratic labyrinth and the diachronic ills of the judiciary.