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NEWS

Short Update: Greece enacts new law to relieve congestion in the criminal courts upon the lifting of their temporary closure

FairTrialsAdmin - May 27, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Delayed or accelerated proceedings

On 27 May 2020, Greece adopted Law no. 4689/2020  to decongestion Criminal courts when they will return to their regular, fully functional status. The law includes provisions regarding the limitation periods of certain misdemeanors, the suspension of criminal prosecution and the conditional non-execution of imposed sentences. 

Specifically, according to Art. 63 of the aforementioned bill, punishment is barred and the criminal prosecution is suspended for misdemeanors which have been perpetrated until 30.04.2020 and for which a sentence of maximum 1 year imprisonment or a penalty payment or community service is provided for in Greek criminal law, individually or cumulatively. The casefiles of the aforementioned criminal acts will be closed upon the decision of the competent public prosecutor’s office. Civil pecuniary claims and administrative fines relating to these criminal offences will not be affected.

By virtue of Article 64 of the aforementioned bill, main sentences of a) up to 6 months imprisonment or b) payment penalties or c) community service penalties which have been imposed with judicial decision issued until the publication of the present bill - since these judicial decisions are not yet irrevocable and the relevant sentences have not yet been executed in any way until the publication of the bill - become time-barred and are not to be executed under the condition that the convicted person will not intentionally perpetrate in the following two years of the bill’s publication any criminal act for which he or she will be irrevocably convicted to a sentence of a more than six months imprisonment.  

Finally, the aforementioned provisions of Art. 63 and 64 of the bill will not affect certain misdemeanors of a special moral blameworthiness including the relevant criminal act of “the violation of measures for the prevention of diseases” (Art. 285 GCC) which can be applied to the COVID-19 health crisis.   

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected]

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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