February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Penal Code: What Will Change With regard to Sexual Offenses

Significant changes to the Greek Penal Code regarding sexual violence against minors and any form of domestic violence were announced by the Minister of Justice Konstantinos Tsiaras at a special event on the theme “Impunity in the 21st century” (Fighting impunity), which was attended by three presidents of the Supreme ships of the country.

Konstantinos Tsiaras announced that from now on, “incest”, that is, sexual contact with close relatives, will be considered a crime, since the recent change in the Criminal Code in 2019 characterized it as a “misdemeanor”.

Mr. Tsiras reported on two important changes in the area of ​​crimes (sexual and other) against minors. In particular, the suspension of the beginning of the statute of limitations for both misdemeanors and crimes from the moment the victim reaches the age of majority, as well as a change in the method of criminal prosecution. The offense of insult to sexual dignity will now be prosecuted ex officio (αυτεπαγγέλτως), even without the victim’s statement.

Regarding the penalties currently imposed for crimes against sexual dignity and freedom (γενετήσιας ελευθερίας), following the amendments to the Criminal Code in 2019, Mr. Tsiaras advocates significant changes in the context of broader reforms. In particular, he announced an increase in punishment, an additional several years in prison, for those guilty of terrible crimes.

The proposal of a special drafting committee set up within the ministry to oversee the implementation of the new Criminal Code calls for life imprisonment, which means 20 years in prison instead of the current 16.

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