ATHENS – A lewdness conviction against Nikos Georgiadis, a former New Democracy lawmaker who had been a close advisor to now-Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and had been charged in Moldova of sexual abuse of children over 15 years old was tossed out by an appeals court which cited a law passed by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA.
Just before being ousted in July 7 snap elections, the Leftists rammed through Parliament a law downgrading a number of major felonies to misdemeanors, which has seen a number of cases being tossed, including in the Siemens bribery case.
With New Democracy, which controls Parliament, not moving to change the law to reinstate higher penalties for major crimes, the court said the SYRIZA law meant it had to accept a defense motion to agree to set aside the conviction because the offense no longer is punishable in Greece.
“Unfortunately, the motion for cessation of the case must be accepted. A judge is obliged to follow the law, even if this causes citizens to ask how the new penal code considers insignificant, and thus suspends, various types of misdemeanors, including those inflicted upon minors,” the prosecutor announced in court, reported Naftemporiki.
According to media reports, the charge of lewdness, in this case child sexual abuse, is now a misdemeanor, a minor crime even though allegedly perpetrated on an victim under 18 yers old, and Greek courts can’t act if it happened in another country.
A three-justice Athens misdemeanor court had found Georgiadis – by a two to one ruling – guilty of the charge of repeatedly and persistently engaging in lewdness, while handing down a 28-month jail sentence and a fine of 20,000 euros ($22,165.) No extenuating circumstances were recognized by the first instance court.
At the time, Georgiadis held the position of the European Union High Level Policy Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Moldova but escaped through diplomatic immunity, media reports said.