As readers of these pages are aware, Andreas Georgiou is still fighting for justice in the Greek republic. This year, the battle around a conviction for slander is coming to a head. On July 28th, the plaintiff in the slander case demanded that the penalties for this conviction be applied immediately, before Andreas’ appeal can be heard. The core of this penalty is that Andreas could be forced to publish a “public apology” to the plaintiff and will face fines of 200 euro for each day of delay in the publication.
The good news
In one of the first pieces of good news in a long time, we are happy to report that on September 16, the Greek Supreme Court granted Andreas a temporary injunction against this demand. This temporary injunction is in place until October 11. On this date, the Supreme Court will consider whether to keep the injunction in place until the court can hear Andreas’ appeal of the original slander judgment. If the request is not granted, then the monetary penalties (200 euro a day) will accrue until the Supreme Court decides the validity of Andreas’ appeal – January 16, 2023.
A forced publication of a “public apology” is a judgment we can only imagine occurring in the most repressive regimes on the planet. It is certainly not expected in a modern democracy. Moreover, this apology is the penalty that has been imposed on Andreas for the crime of “simple slander”, which is, by definition, a statement of TRUE facts which are alleged to damage the reputation of the plaintiff. It is farcical to expect this apology to be executed before appeals are fully heard in the case.
The world needs more truth-tellers. We can only hope that the Supreme Court recognizes the absurdity of the plaintiff’s demand when they meet on October 11 of this year. Andreas Georgiou himself is the victim of repeated slanderous attacks throughout the course of this debacle, and surely Greek justice cannot be blind to that fact. At the same time, we also descry the sluggish speed of justice in the Hellenic Republic. If the Supreme Court extends the injunction, the next opportunity to see justice done will be January 16, 2023, when the Court considers the annulment request of the Appeals Court decision. By then, we will be over 11 years into this sorry story!