A controversial ruling by a mixed jurist-juror appellate court in the south-central Greek city of Lamia this past week, which essentially allowed the early release of an ex-police guard responsible for the shooting death of a teenager in December 2008, has elicited the scrutiny of the Supreme Court's prosecutor's office.
The appellate court handed down a 13-year sentence on Epaminondas Korkoneas after unanimously upholding a first instance intentional homicide conviction. The latter was charged and arrested after he fired a pistol shot that ricocheted into the chest of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos. The incident occurred in the early evening of Dec. 6, 2008, during an alleged street disturbance near the central Athens square of Exarchia.
With the reduced sentence, Korkoneas was eligible and granted early release from prison a day later, serving just less than a decade. Critics of the previous leftist SYRIZA government blamed last-minute revisions - before a July 7 election - to the country's penal code for allowing such early releases of convicted felons of violent crimes.
The high court prosecutor's office asked the appellate court in Lamia to convey a copy of the ruling, once it is finalized, in order to study the material and decide whether to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court's plenum.