ATHENS — The citizen protection ministry on Friday rejected criticism from main opposition SYRIZA for losing the convicted second-in-command of criminal Golden Dawn, Christos Pappas, whose whereabouts are unknown since the court ruled that he be sent to jail on Thursday.
In an announcement, the ministry noted that following Pappas in any way would have been a violation of the law and a breach of his rights, as such surveillance was only permissible if ordered by a public prosecutor.
It also pointed out that the former MP had not, in fact, violated the much more lenient restrictions imposed on him since March 2015, which only required him to report to a police station on the first day of every month and did not require him to spend the night at his residence in Papagou, meaning that the police had done all that was required of them.
These much lighter restrictions, the announcement added, were decided by an appeals council at a time when SYRIZA and not the current government was in power.
As when SYRIZA had called for the arrest of the European Parliament deputy Lagos, despite his parliamentary immunity, it was now effectively criticising the ministry for not breaking the law, the announcement said.
Denouncing what it called SYRIZA's "a la carte" approach to justice, the ministry underlined that the police will take the necessary action to bring the fugitive Christos Pappas to justice, as it had done successfully on numerous occasions in the past.
"Let it be absolutely clear to nostalgics of every kind: in today's Greece and under today's governance, the end does not justify the means!"