After months of opposition attacks, former justice minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos is asking for the abolition of a law that he passed to decongest Greek prisons.
The law came under fire most recently when it emerged that an assailant who shot dead Athens lawyer Michalis Zafeiropoulos was released from prison under the terms of Paraskevopoulos’ law.
Paraskevopoulos told the Greek Parliament TV channel that, “It may seem odd, but [main opposition leader Kyriakos] Mitsotakis is right [in demanding abolition of the law].
“Any law on prison decongestion – they wrongly call it the ‘Paraskevopoulos law’ to stigmatise me – is an extraordinary law to handle emergency conditions and has no reason to be in force constantly,” he declared.
Paraskevopoulos said his controversial law should be replaced with new provisions on penalties and preconditions of prisoner release.
He said that there will be immediate changes in the both the Greek prison code and the criminal code, which will improve prison conditions.
New Democracy released a scathing response to the former minister’s comments. “Truly, whatever disastrous aim Mr. Paraskevopoulos sought to achieve, he accomplished. He released 2,000 prisoners convicted of felonies and now recommends rescinding the law, because it is no longer needed,” the statement read.
“Let him persuade Alexis Tsipras to adopt New Democracy’s steadfast demand [to rescind the law], as he [the prime minister] just last Friday described the repugnant law as necessary.”