Anorak News | Greek Tragedy

Greek Tragedy

by | 31st, July 2003

‘GIVEN that British justice has not exactly been infallible over the years (as many Irishmen could testify), we have to be a bit wary at criticising other countries’ systems.

The Johnson brothers show off their welcome from the Greek police

But the Telegraph this morning wades in where the other papers fear to tread in support of the Johnson family, three of whom were given jail sentences yesterday in a Greek court.

Vera Johnson was given a three-month sentence for threatening behaviour for allegedly swearing and throwing a kebab at shopkeeper Dimitris Karamichalous.

Her sons, Frederick and Christian, were given 12-month sentences for causing grievous bodily harm to the 49-year-old, who suffered a broken leg in a fracas on an Athens street.

They claim that Mr Karamichalous launched an unprovoked attack on them for eating a souvlaki kebab outside his shop and that he broke his leg when he fell trying to hit Christian with a metal bar.

He claimed that he was thrown to the ground by a karate move and that his leg was broken by a very hard kick or a blow from a metal bar.

But it is the process of justice that appals the Telegraph.

‘During the four-hour hearing at Athens criminal court, the main prosecution was read, with no opportunity for cross-examination,’ it says.

‘Police statements were contradictory and the British defendants had only five minutes each to state their case.’

There was no forensic evidence, the metal bar was not recovered, no statement was taken from the defendants and, in all, the whole process took less than four days.

No wonder Home Secretary David Blunkett is believed to be following the case closely – it’s only a matter of time before he adopts such practices here…

Posted: 31st, July 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink