News Europe The Greek Justice suspends a first trial against 24 people prosecuted for...

The Greek Justice suspends a first trial against 24 people prosecuted for helping migrants

Rival Times

The Greek Justice has suspended this Friday the process against 24 humanitarian aid workers accused of helping migrants, in an annulment that has been given by procedural failures and awaiting the possibility of opening new proceedings that, in the worst case , they could lead to an accusation of belonging to an illegal smuggling organization.

The current process accused these aid workers of crimes such as espionage or forgery, which could have entailed a sentence of up to eight years in prison.

The spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Throssell, had explained that the charges arose from the work to help migrants and call into question the work of an NGO that between 2016 and 2018 rescued more than a thousand people and provided all kinds of assistance already on land, on the island of Lesbos.

These procedural failures, among which there is, for example, the absence of a translation of the statement of objections to accused foreign aid workers such as the German Sean Binder raised in Ireland or the Syrian Sarah Mardini (who arrived in Lesbos in 2015 precisely as a refugee), have caused the suspension of a trial that can no longer be resumed because the accusations are going to expire next month.

In a reaction to the suspension, Binder has lamented that no defendant has actually been exonerated of the charges. “And if they apply this same tactic again in a next trial, we have 15 more years to wait,” she lamented when she left the courts in a video published by the representative of the Irish Greens Grace O’Sullivan.

Amnesty International also repudiates a “farce” of the process, as exemplified by the lack of translation, and recalls that there is an additional investigation pending after which the aid workers could end up accused of even more serious crimes, such as people smuggling, or belonging to an organization criminal.

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