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Victims' rights - by country


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Can I appeal against the ruling?

At the end of the trial, the court will convict or acquit the defendant depending on the evidence presented. If the court finds the defendant not guilty, it clears him or her of the accusation, and if you have joined the proceedings as a civil party (politikós enágon) it will not rule on your claim for reparation or financial compensation for moral harm or pain and suffering. In such a case, the defendant is entitled to counterclaim against you seeking compensation and any expenses he or she has incurred in relation to the case (Article 71 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Kódikas Poinikís Dikonomías — ‘KPD’). If the court finds the defendant guilty, it will sentence him or her, and will rule on the amount of compensation you are to receive from the defendant on the basis of your civil claim.

If the court acquits the defendant, you can appeal against the judgment only if you have been ordered to pay the defendant compensation and expenses, and only in that respect, under Article 486(1)(b) KPD. In addition, if you are a civil party, you can appeal against a part of the judgment that dismissed your claim as unfounded in law or a part that awarded you financial satisfaction or compensation (Article 488 KPD).

Alternatively, you can ask the public prosecutor to appeal against the judgment.

What are my rights after sentencing?

Once the court sentence enters into force, your role in the criminal proceedings is generally over. Greek legislation does not give crime victims any further rights at the stage when the sentence is being enforced. There is only one exception: if you are a minor who is a victim of an offence against personal and sexual freedom, you have all the associated rights, even if you have not joined the proceedings as a civil party, including the right to be informed by the public prosecutor if the offender is released, provisionally or permanently, and any leave granted to him or her when in prison (Article 108A KPD).

Am I entitled to support or protection after the trial? For how long?

As a victim, you are entitled to free and confidential general or specialist support and care services, depending on your needs, before, during and for a reasonable period of time after termination of the criminal proceedings. These rights may also extend to your family members, depending on their needs and on the severity of damage they have sustained as a result of the criminal offence that was committed against you. The police, or any other competent authority receiving your complaint, may provide you with information at your request, or refer you to: the social services of first- and second-level local government authorities; mental health facilities; Community Centres (Kéntra Koinótitas), the advice centres (symvoulevtiká kéntra) of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality; the support structures of the National Centre for Social Solidarity (Ethnikó Kéntro Koinonikís Allilengýis); the Independent Offices for the Protection of Underage Victims (Avtotelí Grafeía Prostasías Anílikon Thymáton) of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights; or private bodies and professional and volunteer associations. If you are a woman who is a victim of a crime against your personal or sexual freedom, or of financial exploitation of sexual life, domestic violence, human trafficking, procuring or racist crimes, your children are also entitled to receive support and care services (Article 61 of Law 4478/2017, on the right to access victim support and care services (Article 8 of Directive 2012/29/EU)).

General support and care services can provide you, among other things, with information and advice regarding your rights as a victim and your entitlement to claim compensation for criminal injuries; information on how you can take part in the criminal proceedings either as a civil party or as a witness; information about or direct referral to any relevant specialist support services in place; emotional and psychological support; advice relating to financial and practical issues arising from the crime; or advice relating to the prevention of secondary and repeat victimisation, intimidation and retaliation.

Specialist support and care services will refer victims to shelters or provide other appropriate temporary accommodation for victims in need of a safe place owing to an imminent risk of secondary or repeat victimisation, intimidation or retaliation, and can provide integrated support, including trauma support and counselling, for victims with specific needs, such as victims of racist or sexual violence, victims of identity- or gender-based violence, and victims of violence in close relationships (Article 62 of Law 4478/2017, on support from victim support services (Article 9 of Directive 2012/29/EU)).

What information will I be given if the offender is sentenced?

As a victim, you will be briefed on the progress of the criminal proceedings and notified of the court ruling without undue delay, if you so request, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, provided that you have joined the criminal proceedings as a civil party. If you have joined the criminal proceedings as a civil party, you may be provided with information about the proceedings by email, in person or through your lawyer (Article 59 of Law 4478/2017, on the right of victims to receive information about their case (Article 6 of Directive 2012/29/EU))

Will I be told if the offender is released (including early or conditional release) or escapes from prison?

You have a right to be informed if a temporary detention order is revoked or altered by the competent judicial body, or if the offender is permanently released, or has escaped from prison or been granted leave by the responsible officers of the detention facility, including information on any measures that may be taken to protect you in the event that the offender has been released or has escaped from prison. Such information must be given to you, subject to authorisation by the public prosecutor, if there is actual or potential danger to your safety, provided that no risk of harm to the offender arises as a result of the disclosure of such information (Article 59 of Law 4478/2017, on the right of victims to receive information about their case (Article 6 of Directive 2012/29/EU)).

Will I be involved in release or parole decisions? For example, can I make a statement or lodge an appeal?

No. However, the Court may require reparation of the damage sustained by the victim of the criminal act (Article 100(3a) of the Criminal Code (Poinikós Kódikas — ‘PK’) as an alternative to or a prerequisite for the suspension of the sentence, subject to probation or supervision by a social assistance officer (epimelitís koinonikís arogís)(Article 100 PK). The offender’s compliance with the Court’s requirements is monitored by the social assistance officer, and in the event of non-compliance, the competent prosecutor may ask the court that ordered the suspension to revoke the order.

Last update: 22/06/2022

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