Crucial case involving broadcast license law up in the air

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 17:19
UPD:17:20
SOOC/Konstantinos Tsakalidis

The latest obstacle involves health reasons, as one full member of the court plenum suffered a heart attack and is hospitalized, while an alternate member on the justices’ council reported that he broke his leg on Crete, and therefore took a medical leave.

Holding a full session of Greece’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, to examine the politically explosive issue of motions filed by several broadcasters against a most recent law shifting authority for television licensing from an independent authority to the government is proving a Herculean task.

The latest obstacle involves health reasons, as one full member of the court plenum suffered a heart attack and is hospitalized, while an alternate member on the justices’ council reported that he broke his leg on Crete, and therefore took a medical leave.

A convening of the high court is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, the latest session on the matter.

The Council of State must first rule on whether to accept the case for deliberation. If accepted then the constitutionality of the law, submitted to Parliament by the leftist Tsipras government, will be decided.

Meanwhile, another “wrench” in the process was tossed by the relevant justice minister this week, who ordered a preliminary disciplinary probe against regular justice on the high court assigned the specific case, and following a story on a news website linking him to an affair in 2014 involving a judicial school graduate student who was subsequently appointed to the Council of State.

If more absences of justices, for whatever reasons, appear, then the case will be postponed, a prospect that will generate severe criticism of the top judiciary by plaintiffs and the political opposition.

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