Victims' rights - by country

Greece

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Greece

You will be considered a victim of crime if you have suffered damage, e.g. you have been injured or your property has been damaged or stolen, as a result of an incident which constitutes an offence under Greek law. As a victim of crime, the law grants you certain individual rights before, during and after the trial.

Criminal proceedings in Greece start with the investigation (dierévnisi) of the crime. Sometimes the investigation is divided into a preliminary investigation (prokatarktikí exétasi) and a judicial investigation (anákrisi). The aim of a preliminary investigation is to explore the circumstances of the case and establish whether criminal proceedings should be instituted or not.

The investigation is conducted by the police and by officers of the court — the public prosecutor (eisangeléas), the investigating judge (anakritís), or both. At the end of the investigation, the police officer in charge of the case forwards all the evidence collected to the prosecutor. The prosecutor then examines the work done so far and forwards the case to the court together with his or her recommendations for how the case should proceed further.

After reviewing the case file and the prosecutor’s recommendations, the court will either order a trial or close the case.

At the trial the court considers all the evidence collected and decides whether or not the defendant is guilty. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she is convicted and sentenced. If the defendant is found not guilty, he or she is acquitted.

For further information, please refer to the following links:

1 - My rights as a victim of crime

2 - Reporting a crime and my rights during the investigation or trial

3 - My rights after trial

4 - Compensation

5 - My rights to support and assistance

Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

1 - My rights during the investigation of a crime

How and where can I report a crime?

How can I follow up on what the authorities do after I report a crime?

How can I be involved in the investigation of the crime?

What are my rights as a witness?

I am a minor. Do I have additional rights?

What information can I obtain from police or victim support organisations during the investigation of the crime?

Can I receive legal aid?

How can I get protection, if I am in danger?

What services and assistance can I be given during the investigation of the crime?

Are there opportunities to reach settlement/conciliation or to start mediation between the offender and myself?

How will my case continue after the end of the investigation?

Can I appeal if my case is closed without reaching the court?

I am a foreigner. How are my rights and interests protected?

More information

How and where can I report a crime?

If you have become a victim of a crime you can report it to the public prosecutor or to the police. You can also ask someone else to report the crime, in which case you need to sign a written declaration indicating the person who will file the report for you. There is no specific form for the declaration, but you should sign it either before an official from a public or municipal authority or before a lawyer (including your own lawyer, if you already have one). The person reporting the crime for you may be a lawyer or any other person you trust.

You can also report a crime when the victim was your spouse, your child or your parent and he/she died as a consequence of the offence.

You can report a crime orally or in writing. If you choose to provide the information orally, the official accepting your statement will write a report.

You have to pay a fee of 10 euro for the submission of your complaint. In exceptional cases you will be allowed to pay the fee after the submission of the complaint but not later than three days.

You can submit your complaint only in Greek. If you do not speak Greek you can use an interpreter, but you have to pay for his/her services. At this stage, an interpreter free of charge is foreseen for victims of human trafficking.

When the authorities in charge prosecute the crime, even you do not ask for it, there is no deadline for reporting a crime. In cases where the crime can be prosecuted only at your specific request, (see below), you must file a complaint to the court within three months of learning the crime and the offender (if known). However, for all crimes there are certain time limits (from one up to twenty years depending on the seriousness of the crime) after which the authorities will accept your report but may refuse to start proceedings.

There is no obligatory form that you need to follow when filing your report. There is a template which you will be given to fill in, but it is only for your convenience and it is up to you to decide whether to follow it or not.

In practice, what you need to include in your report is:

  • your name, address and contact details;
  • the offender and his/her contact details, if you know them;
  • description of what exactly happened and, if you know it, the applicable article of the Criminal Code;
  • your request to the public prosecutor to investigate the case;
  • the appointment of a lawyer;
  • witnesses proposed to be interviewed, if any.

In very few cases reporting a crime may not oblige the police or the public prosecutor to open proceedings. These are cases of minor crimes where you as a victim have to participate in the proceedings instead of the public prosecutor. In such cases you need to a file a complaint to the court not later than three months after you have learned about the crime and the offender (if known). The complaint should be written in Greek and you have to pay a fee of 10 euro for its submission. In exceptional cases you will be allowed to pay the fee after the submission of the complaint but not later than three days.

How can I follow up on what the authorities do after I report a crime?

After the submission of the report you will receive a reference number. Using this reference number, you can check the special register kept by the public prosecutor’s office to see what has been done on your case. You can also ask for and receive a certificate indicating what the situation with your case is.

If your case reaches court your lawyer can also check how the case is proceeding through the website of the Athens Bar Association at Link opens in new windowhttp://www.dsa.gr/ (for cases brought before the Athens Court of First Instance). You cannot check the website yourself because it requires a password.

How can I be involved in the investigation of the crime?

When you report a crime you can be heard by the public prosecutor who examines your case. Also, in case that a preliminary examination (before investigation) takes place, you might be asked to appear before the authorities for an interview. You may also be asked to appear again before the public prosecutor or a police officer for an interview before the opening of the investigation.

Once an investigation has been opened you will be called for an interview as a witness.

You can also take part in the investigation of the crime by becoming a civil claimant (1). Becoming a civil claimant will allow you to use the criminal proceedings to claim compensation from the offender for the damages you have suffered as a result of the crime. You can become a civil claimant by submitting a declaration to the prosecutor or police officer in charge of your case. You can do this when you report the crime or later at any time until the end of the investigation. You can send the declaration to the public prosecutor or police officer in charge of your case or simply give it to them when you are interviewed as a witness.

In the declaration you need to include a short description of what happened, why you wish to become a civil claimant and the appointment of a lawyer if you reside in a place different from the location of the court which will examine your case. If you do not include this information your claim will not be examined. You also need to pay a fee of 10 euro.

As a civil claimant you can:

  • be present at all investigative actions on your case (apart from during the questioning of the defendant and of the witnesses who will be heard again during the trial);
  • ask questions and make remarks during the investigative actions;
  • be heard before any decision is made on your case, e.g. a decision to issue an arrest warrant;
  • have access to the entire documentation of the case;
  • make copies of the documents at your own expense.

You do not need to prove anything related to the crime you have suffered from. This is a responsibility of the public prosecutor and the police officer in charge of your case. If you wish, you can present evidence or ask for the collection of evidence you consider relevant to your case.

What are my rights as a witness?

If you have to be interviewed as a witness the public prosecutor or the police officer in charge of your case will send you an invitation. After receiving the invitation you have to appear before the public prosecutor or the police officer. During the interview you will be invited to say what happened and may be asked to respond to additional questions. You can refuse to testify if you are a relative of the alleged offender.

If you have hearing or speech impediments the interview can be conducted in writing. If you do not speak Greek you are entitled to an interpreter free of charge.

After your interview you can ask the public prosecutor or the police officer in charge of your case to reimburse you for the costs related to your testimony (travel, accommodation, lost remuneration, etc.).

I am a minor. Do I have additional rights?

If you are a minor (under 18 years of age) and you have suffered from a crime your parent or guardian can report the crime for you. If you are older than 12 years of age you can also report the crime yourself.

If you are a minor you have additional rights but they depend on the crime you have suffered from. Additional rights are available only to minor victims of human trafficking, abduction and sexual offences. If you are a victim of one of these crimes you can:

  • review the documents of the case even if you have not become a civil claimant;
  • receive information about the release of the offender;
  • use the assistance of a psychologist when interviewed as a witness;
  • have your interview recorded so that the record can be used during the proceedings, relieving you from the obligation to appear again before the public prosecutor or the court.

If you are a child victim of sexual abuse you can receive physical and psychological support and legal assistance. Psychological support is also available to the members of your family. Before getting support you need to undergo a psychological and physical examination. This is necessary to evaluate what medical therapy would be most appropriate for you. You can also ask the police officer or the prosecutor in charge of your case to forbid any communication between the offender and you or to ban the offender from visiting the area you live in.

What information can I obtain from police or victim support organisations during the investigation of the crime?

The law does not oblige the prosecutor and the police to provide you with information on the rights you have during the investigation. Nevertheless, you can check the documentation of your case. To do this, you need to become a civil claimant (1).

Can I receive legal aid?

During the investigation you can use the assistance of a lawyer but you need to pay for his/her services. You are allowed to use a maximum of two lawyers.

You can use legal aid free of charge depending on your income and the crime you have suffered from. You will be provided with a lawyer free of charge only if you have suffered from a serious violent crime (torture, discrimination, bodily injury, sexual offence, etc.) and your yearly family income is less than two-thirds of the minimum annual wage rate defined by the National General Collective Labour Agreement.

You will receive legal aid free of charge irrespective of your income only if you are:

  • a victim of human trafficking or domestic violence; or
  • a victim of a sexual offence under 18 years of age.

The lawyer appointed for you will help you prepare and submit the necessary documents to become a civil claimant (1) and will assist you throughout the proceedings thereafter.

How can I get protection, if I am in danger?

You can get protection depending on the crime you have suffered from and your role in the criminal proceedings.

If you are a victim of organised crime or terrorism and you have been called for an interview as a witness during the investigation you can ask for special protection. Depending on the case, the protection you will receive may include police protection, anonymity (nondisclosure of your name, place of birth, home and work address, job and age, etc.), and interview through visual or sound transmission. If you work for a governmental agency, you can also ask for relocation to another position.

If you are a victim of domestic violence the police are obliged not to reveal your identity and the identity of the offender. Police officers dealing with the investigation of your case must not disclose in any way your name, address or any other detail that can reveal your identity.

What services and assistance can I be given during the investigation of the crime?

You can receive special services and assistance only if you are of victim of specific crimes such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, human trafficking, etc.

If you are a victim of domestic violence you can ask the police officers dealing with your case to give you information about the authorities and organisations offering help. The police will also inform the authorities and organisations about your case so that you can receive help immediately when you get in contact with them.

If you are a victim of human trafficking you can ask for and receive information about the authorities and organisations offering assistance and protection such as consultation centres, medical centres, shelters for men, women and children, etc.

You can receive medical assistance free of charge only if you have a valid health insurance. Citizens of the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can benefit from the Link opens in new windowEuropean Health Insurance Card.

Are there opportunities to reach settlement/conciliation or to start mediation between the offender and myself?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, instead of going to trial your case may end up with conciliation between you and the offender. During the investigation the prosecutor may invite you to reconcile with the offender. Receiving such an invitation by the prosecutor means that the offender has already agreed to reconcile with you and has promised that he/she will abstain from such behaviour in the future, will stay away from home for a reasonable time if necessary, will attend a consulting or therapeutic programme and will compensate the damages caused.

You are free not to agree with the proposed conciliation, in which case the criminal proceedings will continue. If you agree to reconcile with the offender the criminal proceedings will stop for three years. During this period, if the offender does not break his/her promise the case will be closed. Otherwise it will continue as if conciliation has never happened.

How will my case continue after the end of the investigation?

After completing the investigation, the police officer in charge of your case will forward it to the public prosecutor. Before that, if you are a civil claimant (1), you will be informed about the conclusion of the investigation. At that point, if you wish you can check the documents collected so far. To be informed and examine the file you need to reside at the same place where the investigation has taken place. Otherwise you need to appoint a lawyer residing in that place and he/she will receive the notification for you.

The public prosecutor will examine the collected materials and will send them to the court together with his/her proposal how the case should proceed further. The prosecutor may propose to the court that a trial be started or closed.

If you have become a civil claimant, before sending the case to the court the prosecutor will invite you to get acquainted with his/her proposal. This is done only if you reside in the same place as the court that will hear your case or if you have appointed a lawyer residing there. After you receive the invitation, you (or your lawyer) need to go and check the proposal within 24 hours. If you do not reside at the same place as the court and you have not appointed a lawyer residing there you still have the opportunity to see the proposal even if it has been sent to the court. A copy of it is available at the secretariat of the prosecutor’s office.

After the court receives the file from the prosecutor it will decide whether to open a trial or to close the case. If you have become a civil claimant during the investigation, the prosecutor will send a copy of the court’s decision to you.

The session in which the court examines the prosecutor’s proposal is not public and takes place in the Judicial Council. However, the Judicial Council may summon you to give some clarifications. If you find it necessary, you can also ask the Judicial Council to invite you to explain your arguments. In any case, if new documents or evidence have been included in the case that you are not familiar with, the court will invite you to see them and will give you a deadline for presenting comments or remarks.

Can I appeal if my case is closed without reaching the court?

When you report a crime the prosecutor can decide not to prosecute the case at all. In this case you will receive a copy of the prosecutor’s decision. You can appeal against it within 15 days. Your appeal must be addressed to the prosecutor at the Court of Appeals.

If proceedings have started, the case can be closed before the trial by the Judicial Council examining the prosecutor’s proposal after the completion of the investigation. You can appeal against such a decision if the crime you have suffered from is a serious one, i.e. punishable by more than five years' imprisonment. To file an appeal you need to have become a civil claimant (1) during the investigation.

After the publication of the Judicial Council decision you will have 10 days to submit the appeal. If you reside abroad you can submit the appeal within 30 days of receiving the copy of the decision. These deadlines do not apply to the month of August.

Alternatively, instead of filing your own appeal, you can ask the prosecutor to appeal against the Judicial Council decision.

I am a foreigner. How are my rights and interests protected?

If you are a foreigner you can benefit from some additional rights aimed at facilitating your participation. If you do not understand Greek, you have the right to receive all the information about your case in a language you understand.

During the investigation, if you have become a civil claimant (1) or you have been summoned for an interview as a witness you will be provided with an interpreter free of charge.

If you reside abroad you can also benefit from an extended deadline (30 days) to appeal against the Judicial Council’s decision to close the case after the end of the investigation. This deadline does not run in the month of August.

If you are a citizen or a permanent resident of a Member State of the European Union you can receive legal aid during the investigation. You will be provided with a lawyer free of charge if you have suffered from a serious violent crime (torture and other offences of human dignity, discrimination, bodily injury, sexual offences, etc.) and your yearly income is less than two-thirds of the minimum annual wage rate defined by the National General Collective Labour Agreement.

More information

  • Criminal Code (Ποινικός Κώδικας) – in Link opens in new windowGreek
  • Code of Criminal Procedure (Κώδικας Ποινικής Δικονομίας) – in Link opens in new windowGreek
  • Law 3226/2004 on legal assistance to citizens with low income (Νόμoς 3226/2004 Νοµική βοήθεια σε πολίτες χαµηλού εισοδήματος και άλλες διατάξεις)
  • Law 3500/2006 on domestic violence (Νόμος 3500/2006 Για την αντιμετώπιση της ενδοοικογενειακής βίας και άλλες διατάξεις)
  • Presidential Decree 233/2003 on protection and assistance to victims of the crimes of articles 323, 323A, 349, 351 and 351A of the Criminal Code (Προεδρικό Διάταγμα 233/2003 Προστασία και Αρωγή στα θύματα των εγκλημάτων των άρθρων 323, 323Α, 349, 351 και 351Α του Ποινικού Κώδικα κατά το άρθρο 12 του Ν. 3064/2002
  • Presidential Decree 254/2004 Code of Conduct of Police Officers (Προεδρικό Διάταγμα 254/2004 Κώδικας Δεοντολογίας του Αστυνομικού)
Note:

1. Civil claimant
The civil claimant is a person who has suffered damage (property and/or psychological and/or physical) as a result of a crime and participates in the criminal proceedings claiming financial compensation including compensation for moral harm or pain and suffering from the offender. As a victim of crime you can become a civil claimant by submitting a declaration during the investigation or during the trial. During the investigation you can present your claim to the prosecutor or the police officer in charge of your case. During the trial you can submit your declaration and present your claim directly to the court. Your declaration should be written in Greek. There is no special form you need to follow but the declaration has to include a short report of the case, the reasons on which your right to participate as a civil claimant is based and the appointment of a proxy in case you do not reside permanently at the place of the court. Otherwise, your declaration will be inadmissible.
You can also claim compensation from the offender by starting a separate case in a civil court. If you have started such a case and the court has not decided on it yet, you can submit the same claim in the criminal proceedings. The consequence is that the case before the civil court will be closed.
Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

2 - My rights during the trial

How can I be involved in the trial?

What are my rights as a witness?

I am a minor. Do I have additional rights?

Can I receive legal aid?

How can I get protection, if I am in danger?

How can I claim damages from the offender or receive compensation from the state?

Are there opportunities to reach settlement/conciliation or to start mediation between the offender and myself?

I am a foreigner. How are my rights and interests protected?

More information

How can I be involved in the trial?

You can participate in the trial only if you are a civil claimant (1). Otherwise you can only be present during the court hearings that are open to the public.

If you have already become a civil claimant during the investigation you can participate in the trial without submitting any additional documents. If you have missed that opportunity but you still wish to take part in the trial you need to submit your civil claim to the court. The civil claim should be in writing and in Greek. There is no special form you need to use but you have to pay a fee of 10 euro. You can submit your claim at any time before the court starts examining the evidence.

Your participation as a civil claimant will provide you with a number of rights. You will be able to attend all court hearings, including the private ones, and you will be granted access to the entire documentation of the case. You will be allowed to speak before the court to explain your claim and you can also make comments after a witness has been interviewed or other evidence has been presented. You can ask questions through your lawyer to the offender, the witnesses and the other participants (e.g. the technical experts assigned on the case). If you find it necessary, you can ask the court to interview a witness or to request an expert opinion on a certain issue. You can also request postponement of the court hearing and replacement of a judge on the case.

As a victim you will also be summoned by the court to be interviewed as a witness. In this case you are obliged to appear before the court. During the interview you will have the opportunity to explain to the court how the offence happened. The judge may also ask you some additional questions in relation to the incident.

What are my rights as a witness?

If you have to be interviewed as witness during the trial the court will send you an invitation. In the invitation you will find the time and place of the court hearing you have to attend. During the interview you will be invited to tell what happened and may be asked to respond to additional questions. You can refuse to testify if you are a relative of the alleged offender.

If you have hearing or speech impediments the interview can be conducted in writing. If you do not speak Greek you are entitled to an interpreter free of charge.

After your interview you can ask the judge for reimbursement of your costs related to the interview (travel, accommodation, lost remuneration, etc.).

I am a minor. Do I have additional rights?

If you are under 18 years of age you can participate in the trial as a civil claimant (1). In this case your parents or guardians will represent you during the proceedings.

If you are under 18 years of age and you have suffered from a sexual offence you can benefit from additional assistance and support, including medical treatment. Before that, you will be asked to go through a medical examination. The aim of this examination is to assess whether you need special medical treatment. Depending on the results of the medical examination the court will order the provision of this treatment. If necessary, psychological support will also be provided for your family. You can also request the court to forbid any communication between the offender and you or to ban the offender from visiting the area you live in.

If you are under 18 years of age and you are the victim of a sexual offence, human trafficking or abduction you have additional rights. You will be allowed to examine the documentation of the case irrespective of whether you are a civil claimant or not. The prosecutor will also inform you about the release of the offender. You will be provided with a psychologist to assist you when you are interviewed as a witness and your statement will be recorded. This record will then be used during the proceedings and you will not be required to appear again before the court.

Can I receive legal aid?

During the trial you can have a lawyer but you need to pay for his/her services. You will be allowed to use a maximum of three lawyers during the proceedings.

You can use legal aid free of charge depending on your income and the crime you have suffered from. You will be provided with a lawyer free of charge only if you have suffered from a serious violent crime (torture and other offences of human dignity, discrimination, bodily injury, sexual offences, etc.) and your annual income is less than two-thirds of the minimum annual wage rate defined by the National General Collective Labour Agreement.

You will receive legal aid free of charge irrespective of your income only if you are:

  • a victim of human trafficking or domestic violence; or
  • a victim of a sexual offence under 18 years of age.

The lawyer appointed for you will help you prepare and submit your civil claim and will assist you during the trial.

How can I get protection, if I am in danger?

Special protection measures are available only to victims of specific crimes such as terrorism, organised crime and sexual offences.

If you are a victim of organised crime or terrorism and you are interviewed as a witness during the trial you can ask the court for special protection. Protection may include personal protection by the police, nondisclosure of your personal data (your name, place of birth, home and work address, job and age) and interviewing outside the court via audio or videoconference. If you work for a Greek governmental agency you can also ask to be relocated to another position.

If you believe that if open to the public the court hearing may harm your dignity, in particular if you have suffered from a sexual offence, you can ask the court to order a private hearing.

How can I claim damages from the offender or receive compensation from the state?

You can claim damages from the offender by submitting a civil claim. You can submit your claim within the framework of the criminal proceedings during the investigation or during the trial. By submitting your claim you will become a civil claimant (1). You can claim financial compensation for your property damage and/or for moral harm, pain and suffering. You can also add to your claim all expenses you have made in relation to the case (lawyers’ fees, correspondence, travel, etc.).

If the court finds the offender guilty it will order him/her to pay you compensation. In practice, this compensation is most often nominal and its amount is less than the actual damage you have suffered. For the rest you have to submit a separate claim before a civil court.

Alternatively, you can submit your claim directly to the civil court. The civil court will order the offender to pay you compensation corresponding to the actual damage you have suffered.

If you have submitted your claim before a civil court and the court has not decided on it yet you can re-submit it within the criminal proceedings. As a result, the case before the civil court will be closed.

You are entitled to compensation from the State if you are a victim of violent intentional crime. Please consult the factsheet on compensation to crime victims in Greece (available in Link opens in new windowEnglish, Link opens in new windowGreek and other languages) of the European Judicial Network.

Are there opportunities to reach settlement/conciliation or to start mediation between the offender and myself?

Opportunities for conciliation between the offender and you are available only for cases of domestic violence. Conciliation takes place during the investigation of the crime and if it is successful the case does not go to court. If your case is already in court there are no further opportunities for conciliation between the offender and you.

I am a foreigner. How are my rights and interests protected?

If you are a foreigner who has suffered from a crime in Greece you have some additional rights aimed at facilitating your participation in the trial. These rights are available to you only if you take part in the proceedings as a civil claimant (1).

If you do not understand Greek the information about the case you receive must be provided in a language you understand. During the trial you have the right to use the assistance of an interpreter free of charge. The court will appoint an interpreter for you if you need one.

If you are a citizen or a permanent resident of a Member State of the European Union you can receive legal aid during the trial. You will be provided with a lawyer free of charge if you have suffered from a serious violent crime (torture and other offences of human dignity, discrimination, bodily injury, sexual offences, etc.) and your annual income is less than two-thirds of the minimum annual wage rate defined by the National General Collective Labour Agreement.

More information

  • Code of Criminal Procedure (Κώδικας Ποινικής Δικονομίας) – in Link opens in new windowGreek
  • Law 3811/2009 Compensation of victims of intentional violent crimes and other provisions (Νόμoς 3811/2009 Αποζημίωση των θυμάτων εγκλημάτων βίας από πρόθεση και άλλες διατάξεις) – in Link opens in new windowGreek
  • Law 3226/2004 on legal assistance to citizens with low income (Νόμoς 3226/2004 Νοµική βοήθεια σε πολίτες χαµηλού εισοδήματος και άλλες διατάξεις)
  • Law 3500/2006 on domestic violence (Νόμος 3500/2006 Για την αντιμετώπιση της ενδοοικογενειακής βίας και άλλες διατάξεις)
  • Presidential Decree 233/2003 on protection and assistance to victims of the crimes of articles 323, 323A, 349, 351 and 351A of the Criminal Code (Προεδρικό Διάταγμα 233/2003 Προστασία και Αρωγή στα θύματα των εγκλημάτων των άρθρων 323, 323Α, 349, 351 και 351Α του Ποινικού Κώδικα)
Note:

1. Civil claimant
The civil claimant is a person who has suffered damage (property and/or psychological and/or physical) as a result of a crime and participates in the criminal proceedings claiming financial compensation including compensation for moral harm or pain and suffering from the offender. As a victim of crime you can become a civil claimant by submitting a declaration during the investigation or during the trial. During the investigation you can present your claim to the prosecutor or the police officer in charge of your case. During the trial you can submit your declaration and present your claim directly to the court. Your declaration should be written in Greek. There is no special form you need to follow but the declaration has to include a short report of the case, the reasons on which your right to participate as a civil claimant is based and the appointment of a proxy in case you do not reside permanently at the place of the court. Otherwise, your declaration will be inadmissible.
You can also claim compensation from the offender by starting a separate case in a civil court. If you have started such a case and the court has not decided on it yet, you can submit the same claim in the criminal proceedings. The consequence is that the case before the civil court will be closed.
Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

3 - My rights after the (first) trial

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

Is further appeal possible?

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

More information

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

When the trial is over the court will convict or acquit the defendant depending on the evidence it has collected. If the court finds the defendant not guilty it will acquit him/her and will not rule on your civil claim. In this case the defendant has the right to claim back compensation from you for the expenses he/she has made in relation to the case. If the court finds the defendant guilty it will issue a sentence and will rule on the amount of compensation you will receive from the defendant.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the court you can appeal against it. You will be able to appeal only if you have participated in the trial as a civil claimant (1).

Your right to appeal depends on whether the court has convicted or acquitted the defendant. If the court has acquitted the defendant you can appeal against the decision only if you were condemned to pay remuneration to the defendant and trial expenses. If the court has convicted the defendant you can appeal only if your claim was refused due to the fact that was not based on law or your claim for compensation has been rejected or the awarded compensation is less than the requested amount.

Alternatively, you can ask the public prosecutor to appeal against the decision instead of you.

Is further appeal possible?

If you are still not satisfied with the decision of the court after the first appeal you have one more option to challenge the decision. Again, your right to appeal depends on whether the defendant was acquitted or convicted. You can appeal against an acquittal only ifyou were condemned to compensation and trial expenses. You can appeal against a conviction only if the court has rejected your claim due to the fact that was not based on law or the court has rejected your claim for compensation or has not awarded the full amount of the requested compensation.

Alternatively, you can ask the public prosecutor to appeal against the decision instead of you.

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

After the court sentence enters into force your role in the criminal proceedings is generally over. Greek legislation does not provide for any additional rights for crime victims after the sentence begins. There is only one exception: if you are a child and you have suffered from a sexual offence the public prosecutor will inform you about the release of the offender. You have this right irrespective of whether you have participated in the criminal proceedings as a civil claimant (1) or not.

More information:

  • Code of Criminal Procedure (Κώδικας Ποινικής Δικονομίας) – in Link opens in new windowGreek
Note:

1. Civil claimant
The civil claimant is a person who has suffered damage (property and/or psychological and/or physical) as a result of a crime and participates in the criminal proceedings claiming financial compensation including compensation for moral harm or pain and suffering from the offender. As a victim of crime you can become a civil claimant by submitting a declaration during the investigation or during the trial. During the investigation you can present your claim to the prosecutor or the police officer in charge of your case. During the trial you can submit your declaration and present your claim directly to the court. Your declaration should be written in Greek. There is no special form you need to follow but the declaration has to include a short report of the case, the reasons on which your right to participate as a civil claimant is based and the appointment of a proxy in case you do not reside permanently at the place of the court. Otherwise, your declaration will be inadmissible.
You can also claim compensation from the offender by starting a separate case in a civil court. If you have started such a case and the court has not decided on it yet, you can submit the same claim in the criminal proceedings. The consequence is that the case before the civil court will be closed.
Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

4 - Help and support for victims of crime

Ministry of Interior, Transparency and Human Rights – General Secretariat for Gender Equality – Consultation Centres on Violence against Women

Research Centre for Gender Equality (ΚΕΘΙ)

National Centre for Social Solidarity (EKKA)

Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

Research and Support Centre for Victims of Maltreatment and Social Exclusion

Greek Council for Refugees

Greek Helsinki Monitor

Amnesty International Greek Section

Ministry of Interior, Transparency and Human Rights – General Secretariat for Gender Equality – Consultation Centres on Violence against Women

The Consultation Centres provide free psycho-social support and legal advice to enable women to choose and make the best possible decisions for their future, according to their personality and the way they wish to live their lives.

The Consultation Centres

  • provide free psycho-social support and legal advice to enable women to choose and make the best possible decisions for their future, according to their personality and the way they wish to live their lives
  • services are provided within an integrated framework of actions that support, consult on and follow up each woman's development

CONTACTS:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.isotita.gr/

Research Centre for Gender Equality (ΚΕΘΙ)

The Research Centre for Gender Equality (ΚΕΘΙ) provides psychological support and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence and runs a guesthouse for women victims of violence and their children.

The Research Centre for Gender Equality (ΚΕΘΙ) :

  • is a legal entity of private law functioning under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality established in 1994
  • has local services providing psychological support and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence
  • provides for psychological support and legal assistance for free
  • provides information, consultation and support to women that face problems of employment and social inclusion
  • in cooperation with the Municipality of Athens runs a guesthouse since 1993 for women that have been victims of violence and their children

CONTACTS:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttps://kethi.gr/en/

National Centre for Social Solidarity (EKKA)

The National Centre for Social Solidarity coordinates the network that provides social support services to individuals, families, groups and populations facing emotional crisis or in need of urgent social aid.

The National Centre for Social Solidarity (E.K.K.A.)

  • is a state organisation based in Athens under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity
  • offers counselling as well as information regarding welfare issues
  • provides psychological support to individuals, families and groups
  • offers temporary housing at residential shelters for individuals experiencing crisis situations or in need of urgent social aid
  • offers coordination as well as mediation to facilitate access to social solidarity services offered by other agents, non-profit associations and NGOs
  • provides urgent social aid to individuals, families or groups facing severe problems or situations of crisis or social exclusion or social hazards resulting from natural phenomena or a combination of psychosocial, organic and/or financial factors

CONTACTS:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.ekka.org.gr/

Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

The Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims functions as a rehabilitation centre for tortured persons and their families, trains Greek and foreign health professionals in order to examine and cure tortured people, carries out scientific research and give incentives on research about torture and its consequences.

The Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

  • functions as a rehabilitation centre for tortured persons and their families
  • trains Greek and foreign health professionals in order to examine and cure tortured people
  • shares knowledge about the existence and the different kinds of torture and about the possibility of rehabilitation of victims of torture
  • carries out scientific research and gives incentives on research about torture and its consequences
  • maintains and develops an information centre (documentation)
  • contributes to the prevention of torture

CONTACTS:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.mrct.org/

Research and Support Centre for Victims of Maltreatment and Social Exclusion

The Research and Support Centre for Victims of Ill-treatment and Social Exclusion supplies medical, psychological, social and legal support to victims of torture and organised violence, victims of ill-treatment and social exclusion.

The Research and Support Centre for Victims of Ill-treatment and Social Exclusion (CVME)

  • is a civil non-profit association
  • supplies medical, psychological, social and legal support to victims of torture and organised violence, victims of ill-treatment and social exclusion
  • sensitises the general population on human rights issues and transmits knowledge on the existence of the phenomena of violence and social exclusion, and methods of coping with them
  • supplies humanitarian assistance to populations that have been subjected to organised violence, torture, ill-treatment, social exclusion, not only in Greece but in other countries as well
  • carries out scientific research on violence and torture, ill-treatment and the phenomenon of social exclusion
  • contributes to the prevention of torture, maltreatment and social exclusion

CONTACTS:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.cvme.gr/

Greek Council for Refugees

The Greek Council for Refugees is a non-governmental organisation supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Greece through various psychosocial and legal services.

The Greek Council for Refugees

  • is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1989 to support refugees and asylum seekers in Greece
  • helps them integrate harmoniously in Greece through various psychosocial and legal services
  • is the only Greek non-governmental, non-profit organisation that deals exclusively with people seeking asylum in Greece and are considered refugees
  • is registered in the records of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity as an organisation recognised as especially charitable
  • is one of the six non-governmental organisations protecting human rights in Greece that are members of the National Commission for Human Rights
  • is an implementing partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and a member of the European Council for Refugees and Exiles

CONTACTS:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.gcr.gr/

Greek Helsinki Monitor

The Greek Helsinki Monitor monitors, publishes and lobbies on human rights issues in Greece.

The Greek Helsinki Monitor

  • was founded in 1992
  • is the Greek member of the International Helsinki Federation
  • monitors, publishes and lobbies on human rights issues in Greece and, occasionally, in the Balkans
  • has participated in and often coordinated the monitoring of Greek and Balkan media for stereotypes and hate speech
  • has prepared detailed annual reports, parallel reports to UN Treaty Bodies, and specialised reports on ill-treatment and on ethno-national, ethno-linguistic, religious and immigrant communities

CONTACTS:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://cm.greekhelsinki.gr/

Amnesty International Greek Section

Amnesty International addresses governments, intergovernmental organisations, armed political groups, companies and other non-state actors and systematically and impartially investigates the facts of individual cases and broader patterns of human rights violations.

Amnesty International

  • is a global, independent movement of volunteers fighting for the protection of human rights
  • defends prisoners of conscience, violence and poverty
  • aims to end violence against women
  • aims at the abolition of the death penalty, torture and restricting freedoms in the name of the "war on terror"
  • combats discrimination faced by refugees, immigrants, minorities and defenders of human rights

CONTACTS:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.amnesty.org.gr/

Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page Greek has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

1 - My rights as a victim of crime

What information will I be provided with by the authority (e.g. police, public prosecutor) after the crime occurred but before I even report the crime?

From your first contact with the police, or other competent authority, you will be given information, without undue delay and by any means available, on the terms and conditions of admissibility of a criminal complaint, and on the right to join the civil proceedings as a civil party seeking damages (politikós enágon); on how and under what conditions you can obtain legal assistance, lodge a claim for damages , or obtain translation and interpretation services; on the restorative justice available, and the authorities that can work towards restoring the damage by mediating between you and the offender; on how and under what conditions expenses incurred as a result of your participation in the criminal proceedings can be reimbursed; and how you can make a complaint against an authority if you feel your rights have not been respected.

In addition to your rights in the criminal proceedings, you will also be informed

about access to medical care, and any specialist support, including psychological assistance and alternative accommodation, and about how and under what conditions protective measures may be applied.

If you reside in another EU Member State, you will be given specific information on how and under what conditions you can exercise your rights.

The scope and content of the information given will vary depending on your particular requirements and personal situation and the type and nature of the offence. In the course of the proceedings additional and more thorough information will be supplied, at the competent authority’s discretion, depending on your needs (Article 57 of Law 4478/2017, on the right to receive information from the first contact with a competent authority (Article 4 of Directive 2012/29/EU)).

I don’t live in the EU country where the crime took place (EU and non-EU citizens). How are my rights protected?

If you reside in an EU Member State other than the state where the crime was committed, you will be called to make a statement immediately after you report the offence. This can be done in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Kódikas Poinikís Dikonomías — ‘KPD’) allowing for the use of communications technology, e.g. videoconferencing, telephone or Internet (Article 233(1) KPD).

If you reside in Greece and the offence was committed in another EU Member State, you may lodge a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor at the magistrates’ court (eisangeléas plimmeleiodikón) of your place of residence, who will forward your complaint to the competent law enforcement authority of the relevant Member State without undue delay, through the public prosecutor at the court of appeal (eisangeléas efetón), unless the Greek courts have jurisdiction in the matter. The prosecutor is under no obligation to forward your complaint to the Member State where the criminal offence was committed if Greek law is applicable and criminal proceedings are brought in Greece. In that case, in order to ensure that you receive adequate information and to promote mutual legal assistance, the prosecutor at the magistrates’ court that handles the case will so notify the competent law enforcement authority in the Member State where the criminal offence was committed, without undue delay, through the prosecutor at the court of appeal.

(Article 64 of Law 4478/2017, on the rights of victims resident in another Member State (Article 17 of Directive 2012/29/EU))

If I report a crime, what information will I receive?

When you lodge a criminal complaint, the responsible officer must inform you that you can obtain a copy of your complaint.

(Article 58 of Law 4478/2017, on the right of victims when making a complaint (Article 5 of Directive 2012/29/EU))

When a criminal complaint is lodged it is given a unique complaint registration number (arithmós vivlíou mínysis). That number allows you to monitor the course of your case using the register kept at the prosecutor’s office or by contacting the complaints office responsible. You may also request and obtain a case progress certificate (pistopoiitikó poreías) indicating the current stage of the proceedings (e.g. an investigation is being carried out to establish the validity of the complaint, or a preliminary investigation is being conducted) and describing the outcome at each stage (e.g. the prosecutor has discontinued proceedings; criminal charges have been brought and the offender has been committed for trial, in which case you will be told the time and place of the trial and the nature of the charges brought; a pre‑trial judicial inquiry (kyría anákrisi) is in progress, or an order has been made dismissing the charges or terminating the prosecution; a court judgment has been given, if you have joined the criminal proceedings as a civil party seeking damages).

(Article 59 of Law 4478, on the right of victims to receive information about their case (Article 6 of Directive 2012/29/EU))

If your case falls under the jurisdiction of the Athens Court of First Instance (Protodikeío Athinón), when it reaches court your lawyer can monitor its progress on the website of the Athens Bar Association (Dikigorikós Sýllogos AthinónLink opens in new windowhttp://www.dsa.gr/). This option is not available to victims themselves, as the use of credentials is required.

Am I entitled to free interpreting or translation services (when I contact the police or other authorities, or during investigation and trial)?

If you do not understand or speak Greek, you can lodge a criminal complaint in a language you do understand, or be given the necessary linguistic assistance, always subject to the terms and conditions laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure or any specific criminal laws — you will be informed accordingly by the responsible officers. You may request a translation of your complaint free of charge.

(Article 58 of Law 4478, on the right of victims when making a complaint (Article 5 of Directive 2012/29/EU))

If you are to be examined as a witness at any stage of the proceedings and you are unable to speak or understand Greek sufficiently well, you will be given the services of an interpreter without delay. The right to interpreting services includes the provision of proper assistance to persons with hearing or speech impediments. Where appropriate, communication technology such as videoconferencing, telephone or the Internet may be used, unless the physical presence of the interpreter is considered imperative by the person examining you (Article 233(1) KPD).

How does the authority ensure that I understand and that I am understood (if I am a child; if I have a disability)

At their first contact with you, the police or other authorities will communicate with you in simple and accessible language, either orally or in writing, taking account of your personal characteristics, such as, primarily, your age, maturity level, intellectual and mental abilities, education, language skills, any hearing or speech impediments, or whether you are in severe emotional distress which affects your ability to understand or to be understood. A guide to your rights is available written in the most commonly spoken languages and in Braille (Article 56(2) of Law 4478/2017 (Article 3 of Directive 2012/29/EU)). Moreover, if you have a hearing or speech impediment, you will be provided with proper assistance by an interpreter (Article 233(1) KPD).

I am a minor – do I have special rights?

If you are a minor (under the age of 18), your legal representative (parent or guardian) can report the offence on your behalf. If you are over 12 years old, you can report the offence together with your legal representative (Article 118(2) of the Criminal Code (Poinikós Kódikas — ‘PK’)).

Whether you have special rights during the criminal proceedings depends on the nature of the offence. For instance, if you are a victim of an infringement of your personal or sexual freedom, human trafficking, sex tourism, abduction, kidnapping or a sex crime, you have a right to:

  • consult your case file, even if you have not joined the criminal proceedings as a civil party (Article 108A KPD);
  • have your interview recorded so that it can be used during the further criminal proceedings and you do not need to appear again before the prosecutor or the court (Article 226A KPD);
  • obtain the assistance of a psychologist or child psychiatrist when you are examined as a witness;
  • obtain information on whether the offender has been released (Article 108A KPD);
  • request a restraining order against the offender prohibiting him or her from contacting you or going near your home.
  • Moreover, you are in any case entitled to:
  • an individual assessment, in order to establish whether special protection measures should be applied where there is a risk of repeat victimisation (Article 68 of Law 4478/2017, on the individual assessment of victims to identify specific protection needs (Article 22 of Directive 2012/29/EU));
  • request the prosecution or judicial authorities to appoint a legal guardian for minors (epimelitís anilikón) to represent you at any stage of the criminal proceedings, if your parents are unable to represent your or if you are unaccompanied or separated from your family (Article 69(7) of Law 4478/2017, on the right to protection of victims with specific protection needs during criminal proceedings (Articles 23 and 24 of Directive 2012/29/EU);
  • ask to join the proceedings as a civil party seeking damages, assisted by your legal representative (Article 82(2) KPD).

What information can I obtain from the police or from victim support organisations during the investigation of the crime?

You can obtain information about the current stage of the proceedings from the public prosecutor, if the case file (dikografía)has been sent to the prosecutor.

If you have joined the criminal proceedings as a civil party, you may consult the contents of the case file and be given copies of the documents in it once the accused has been called to provide a defence statement (apología), or an arrest warrant (éntalma sýllipsis) or a warrant for forced appearance (éntalma viaías prosagogís) has been issued (Article 108 KPD), or a suspect has been summoned by the authorities to provide explanations. Until then, the proceedings are confidential.

Victim support and protection services can provide information, advice and support on how you can exercise your rights, including the right to claim compensation for the damage you have sustained as a result of the offence, and your role in the criminal proceedings as a civil party or as a witness (Article 62 of Law 4478/2017, on support from victim support services (Article 9 of Directive 2012/29/EU)).

What are my rights as a witness?

If you are to be examined as a witness, you will be served a summons by the prosecutor or the police officer conducting preliminary inquiries, or by a district criminal court judge (ptaismatodíkis)or investigating judge (anakritís). You must appear and testify before them as soon as you receive the summons. You will be asked to describe what happened and, possibly, to answer some additional questions. If you are related to the suspect, you may refuse to testify (Article 222 KPD).

If you have a hearing or speech impediment, the examination may be conducted in writing. If you do not speak Greek, you have a right to the services of an interpreter free of charge.

If you are a victim of people trafficking you belong to a special group of witnesses: you will receive assistance beforehand from a psychologist or psychiatrist, acting in cooperation with the investigating police or judicial officers, who will use proper diagnostic methodologies to establish your intellectual capacity and psychological status. The psychologist or psychiatrist will be present during your examination. You may also be accompanied by your legal representative, unless the investigating judge makes an order preventing him or her from attending, giving reasons.

Your testimony will be written down and recorded audiovisually, where possible, so as to be submitted to the court electronically, in which case you need not be physically present at any subsequent stages of the proceedings.

If the case is one of domestic violence, and you are a member of the family, your testimony will not be taken on oath. If you are a minor, you will not be called to testify as a witness in court. Instead, you can provide a written statement which will be read in the courtroom, unless your physical presence is considered imperative.

Following your examination, you may seek reimbursement of any expenses you may have incurred (transport or accommodation expenses) from the authority that summoned you to testify (Article 288 KPD).

How can I get protection, if I am in danger?

Different types of protection are available, depending on the nature of the offence and your role in the criminal proceedings.

If you are a victim of organised crime or terrorism and have been summoned to testify as a key witness as part of a pre‑trial judicial investigation into criminal activities, you may seek special protection against potential retaliation or intimidation. Depending on the case, the type of protection available may include police protection, protection of your anonymity (your name, place of birth, home and work address, occupation, age etc. will be eliminated from all written records), or even a change of identity and relocation to another country. You may ask to testify by means of audiovisual technology. If you work for a public agency, you may also request a provisional or permanent transfer to another post. Protection measures will be subject to your consent, and will limit your freedom only to the extent necessary for your own safety; they may be suspended if you so request in writing or if you fail to cooperate to ensure their success (Article 9 of Law 2928/2001, on witness protection).

If you are a victim of domestic violence, the police officers handling your case may under no circumstances disclose your identity, the offender’s identity, your home address or any information that might reveal your identity (Article 20 of Law 3500/2006).

As a victim, you may apply in writing for measures to prevent any contact between you or your family members and the offender at the places where the criminal proceedings are conducted. Your application will be heard by the three-member magistrates’ court (trimelés plimmeleiodikeío) of the place of the criminal proceedings, at any stage in the proceedings, in accordance with the expedited procedure for offences in flagrante delicto

(Article 65 of Law 4478/2017, on the right to avoid contact between victim and offender (Article 19 of Directive 2012/29/EU)).

Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page Greek has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

2 - Reporting a crime and my rights during the investigation or trial

How do I report a crime?

If you are a victim of crime, you can report the offence to the public prosecutor or to the police, by lodging a criminal complaint (énklisi or mínysi). (Strictly speaking, an énklisi is a criminal complaint made by the victim himself or herself. In certain situations criminal proceedings will be initiated only if there is such a complaint (e.g. in case of offences against a person’s honour and reputation). A mínysi is a criminal complaint or report made by a party other than the victim, in the case of an offence that the authorities can prosecute on their own initiative whether or not the victim complains. In practice, though, the term mínysi is used to refer to both types of complaint. Thus when a criminal complaint of whichever kind is lodged with the public prosecutor’s office, it is given a unique complaint register number known as an arithmós vivlíou minýseon — using the word minýsi).

You may also request another person to report the offence on your behalf. In this case, you must sign a written statement (dílosi or exousiodótisi), indicating the person that is to lodge the complaint for you. That statement does not come in a standardised form, but it must be signed before an officer of a central or local government authority or before a lawyer (including your own lawyer, if you already have one), who will authenticate your signature. The person reporting the offence on your behalf may be a lawyer or some other person you can trust. If the case is one where criminal proceedings require a criminal complaint by the victim, and the victim is dead, the right to lodge a complaint passes to his or her surviving spouse and children or to his or her parents (Article 118(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Kódikas Poinikís Dikonomías — ‘KPD’). If the victim has died as a result of the offence these persons may also join the criminal proceedings in their own right as civil parties seeking damages for the pain and suffering caused to them.

You can report an offence either orally or in writing. If you choose to report an offence orally, the officer receiving your complaint will draw up a report recording it.

You need to pay a fee to lodge your complaint; the amount of the fee is periodically adjusted by a joint decision of the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Justice, Transparency and Human Rights. In exceptional situations, you will be allowed to pay the fee after you lodge the complaint, but in any event you must do so within three days. If you fail to pay the fee your complaint will be rejected as inadmissible. You are not required to pay the fee if you are entitled to legal aid. Nor are you required to pay the fee if you are a victim of an offence against sexual freedom or of financial exploitation of sexual life, domestic violence or racist discrimination (Articles 81A and 361B of the Criminal Code (Poinikós Kódikas — ‘PK’) or if there has been a breach of equal treatment (Article 46(2) KPD).

In the case of offences that can be prosecuted on the initiative of the authorities whether or not the victim has so requested, there are no time limits on reporting an offence, except that offences of intermediate gravity (plimmelímata) are time-barred after five years. In certain cases, however, the offence can be prosecuted only if you the victim, who have been harmed by it, ask for criminal proceedings to be brought. In these situations, you need to file a criminal complaint (énklisi) within three months of the date on which you became aware of the offence and the identity of the offender (if you know who the offender is).

There is no standard form you can use to lodge a complaint.

Your complaint must include the following information:

  • your full identification details;
  • the offender and his or her contact details, if you know them;
  • a thorough description of the facts;
  • any available documentary evidence substantiating your complaint;
  • any witnesses you suggest could be examined;
  • the details of your lawyer, if you have appointed one.

If you do not understand or speak Greek, you can lodge a criminal complaint in a language you do understand, or be given the necessary linguistic assistance, always subject to the terms and conditions laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other specific criminal laws. You may request a translation of the document free of charge (Article 58 of Law 4478/2017, on the rights of victims when making a complaint (Article 5 of Directive 2012/29/EU)).

How do I find out what’s happening with the case?

When a criminal complaint is lodged it is given a unique complaint registration number. That number allows you to monitor the progress of the case using the register kept at the prosecutor’s office or the responsible complaints office. You may also request and obtain a case progress certificate (pistopoiitikó poreías) indicating the current stage of the proceedings.

If your case falls under the jurisdiction of the Athens Court of First Instance (Protodikeío Athinón), when it reaches court your lawyer can monitor its progress on the website of the Athens Bar Association (Dikigorikós Sýllogos AthinónLink opens in new windowhttp://www.dsa.gr/). This option is not available to victims themselves, as the use of credentials is required.

Am I entitled to legal aid (during the investigation or trial)? Under what conditions?

During the trial you can have a lawyer, but you need to pay for his or her services.

If your annual family income is lower than two thirds of the annual minimum personal income defined in the National General Collective Labour Agreement, you will be provided with a lawyer free of charge, who will prepare and lodge a criminal complaint and represent you as a civil party at any stage of the proceedings, provided you are a victim of one of the following: torture or another offence against human dignity (Article 137(A) and (B) of the Criminal Code); discrimination or unequal treatment, an offence against life, personal freedom or sexual freedom; financial exploitation of sexual life; an offence against property or property rights; personal injury; or an offence related to marriage or the family. The offence must be a serious crime (kakoúrgima) or an intermediate offence (plimmélima) within the jurisdiction of the three-member magistrates’ court (trimeloús plimmeleiodikeío) that carries a minimum sentence of six months’ imprisonment (Law 3226/2004 (Government Gazette 24/Α/ 4/4.2.2004), as amended and supplemented by Law 4274/2014.) The person who assesses your request for legal aid in a criminal case is the presiding judge at the court where the case is pending or before which an appeal is to be brought.

The lawyer who acts for you will help you prepare and submit the documentation required to allow you to join the proceedings as a civil party and will assist you throughout the course of the proceedings.

Can I appeal if my case is closed before going to court?

If the prosecutor at the magistrates’ court (eisangeléas plimmeleiodikón) makes an order rejecting your complaint as without foundation in law, or obviously unfounded on the merits, or incapable of being assessed by a court, you may challenge the order before the responsible prosecutor at the court of appeal (eisangeléas efetón) (Articles 47 and 48 KPD) within three months of the date of the order — this time‑limit cannot be extended for any reason. To challenge the order you will have to pay a fee, which will be refunded if the prosecutor sustains it.

Can I be involved in the trial?

You can participate in the trial only if you are a civil party (politikó enágon) asking the court to award you damages for loss or for moral harm or pain and suffering. You can ask to join the criminal proceedings as a civil party by applying to the responsible public prosecutor, either in your criminal complaint or in a separate document, by the end of the pre-trial investigation (Article 308 KPD), either personally or through a lawyer holding general or specific authorisation to that effect. Your civil claim is recorded in a report with the lawyer’s authorisation attached (Article 83 KPD). If you have not asked to be treated as a civil party in your criminal complaint, you can still do so in the criminal court (Article 82 KPD) before the court starts to evaluate the evidence.

Your application to join the proceedings as a civil party will be rejected as inadmissible unless it includes a brief description of the case, the grounds of your claim and, if you are not a permanent resident within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, the appointment of an agent within that jurisdiction. The agent will be entitled to accept service of all documents or notices addressed to you as a civil party (Article 84 KPD). To be heard as a civil party in the criminal court you must appoint an authorised lawyer and pay a flat-rate fee in favour of the State, which covers the entire proceedings until there is a judgment that is no longer open to appeal. The amount of the fee is periodically adjusted by a joint decision of the Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance and the Minister for Justice.

As a civil party, you are a party to the proceedings, with a number of rights. You can attend all court hearings, including hearings in camera, and you have access to all the documents in the case. You are allowed to speak before the court to present your claims and you can also comment after a witness has been examined or make submissions or provide explanations on any testimony given or evidence presented (Article 358 KPD). You may put questions, through your lawyer, to the offender, the witnesses and the other participants (e.g. any technical experts appointed in the case). You will be asked to testify as a witness (though not on oath), and you can also propose witnesses, provided that the court is notified in good time. You are entitled to request an adjournment of the hearing or the replacement of a judge.

In any event , as a victim, you may be summoned by the court as a witness. In that case you are obliged to appear in court. When you are examined as a witness, you will have the opportunity to explain to the court the facts pertaining to the offence. The judge may also ask you some additional questions.

What is my official role in the justice system? For example, am I or can I choose to be a: victim, witness, civil party or private prosecutor?
What are my rights and obligations in this role?

You may choose whether to join the criminal proceedings as a civil party, which makes you a party to the entire proceedings, with substantial procedural rights, or simply to testify as a material witness, given that the criminal proceedings are taking place in particular as a result of the offence committed against you. The concept of a private prosecution does not exist in the Greek judicial system.

Can I make a statement during the trial or give evidence? Under what conditions?

You can submit documents, which will be read in court (Article 364 KPD) and will be included in the case file, and you can also call witnesses and notify the court accordingly (Article 326(2-1) KPD).

What information will I receive during the trial?

You may attend public hearings throughout the proceedings, the taking of evidence, the defendant’s statement of defence, the pleadings of the lawyers and the court’s judgment.

Will I be able to access court files?

As a civil party you have access to the contents of the case file and can obtain copies of the court’s judgment.

Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page Greek has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

3 - My rights after trial

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: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page Greek has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

4 - Compensation

You can claim damages from the offender by making a claim in civil law. You can submit your civil claim as part of the criminal proceedings, during the investigation or during the trial. By submitting your claim you join the criminal proceedings as a civil party (politikós enágon). You can claim financial compensation for damage to your property and/or for moral harm and pain and suffering. You can add to your claim all the expenses you have incurred in relation to the case (lawyers’ fees, bailiffs’ fees, travel expenses, etc.).

If the court finds the offender guilty, it will order him or her to pay you compensation. In practice, this compensation is most often symbolic, and less than the actual damage you have suffered. For the remainder you have to bring a separate action in a civil court.

Alternatively, you can bring your claim directly in the civil court. The civil court will order the offender to pay compensation that corresponds to the actual damage you have suffered.

If you have a claim pending before a civil court, you can re-submit it within the framework of criminal proceedings; the case before the civil court will then be closed.

If you are a victim of violent crime committed intentionally, you are entitled to compensation from the State.. Please consult the factsheet on compensation to crime victims in Greece (available in English, Greek and other languages) of the European Judicial Network (restorative justice).

Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Please note that the original language version of this page Greek has been amended recently. The language version you are now viewing is currently being prepared by our translators.

5 - My rights to support and assistance

The General Secretariat for Gender Equality (Genikí Grammateía Isótitas ton Fýlon), which comes under the Ministry of the Interior, runs advice centres for women who are victims of violence.

It has established an integrated network of 62 structures to help such women.

The network comprises a 24/7 helpline (SOS 15900), 40 advice centres, and 21 hostels for women and their children.

The SOS15900 helpline can also be contacted at the email address Link opens in new windowsos15900@isotita.gr. It operates on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year, in both Greek and English. Call costs are subject to domestic call charges.

The advice centres offer psychosocial support and legal advice free of charge. The scope of services offered is now expanding to include female employment and women suffering multiple forms of discrimination (support to refugees, single parents, members of the Roma community etc.). Contact information about the advice centres is available on Link opens in new windowhttp://www.womensos.gr/ and on Facebook: WomenSOS.gr

CONTACT INFORMATION:

General Secretariat for Gender Equality website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.isotita.gr/

Research Centre for Gender Equality (Kéntro Erevnón gia Thémata Isótitas — ‘KEThI’)

The Research Centre for Gender Equality offers psychological support and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence and operates a hostel for women who are victims of violence and their children.

The Research Centre for Gender Equality

  • is a body governed by private law which was set up in 1994 and is subject to supervision by the General Secretariat for Gender Equality
  • comprises regional and local services offering psychological support and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence
  • provides psychological support and legal assistance free of charge
  • provides information, advice and support to women facing employment and social exclusion issues
  • in cooperation with Athens Prefecture, has been operating a hostel for women who are victims of violence and their children since 1993.
  • CONTACT INFORMATION:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttps://kethi.gr/

National Centre for Social Solidarity (Ethnikó Kéntro Koinonikís Allilengýis — ‘EKKA’)

The National Centre for Social Solidarity operates a network that offers social support services to individuals, families and social groups experiencing psychosocial difficulties or who are in need of immediate social support.

The National Centre for Social Solidarity

  • is a body governed by private law based in Athens and subject to supervision by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity
  • It comprises the following services:
  • The 197 direct social assistance line for all citizens operates on a 24/7 basis. Calls are free of charge.
  • The 1107 national child protection hotline, for questions concerning children, operates on a 24/7 basis.
  • Social support centres in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki
  • Hostels for citizens experiencing serious socio-financial problems in the region of Attica
  • Operates shelters for women at risk and their children in Attica and Thessaloniki
  • Scope of services offered:
  • advice and information on social welfare issues
  • social and psychological support to individuals and families, provision of shelter to women at risk and their children (mainly victims of domestic violence and human trafficking)
  • short-term accommodation for persons going through a crisis or social emergency
  • cooperation and mediation to facilitate access to social solidarity services offered by other organisations.
  • Lastly, the Centre deploys rapid intervention psychosocial support teams, consisting primarily of psychologists and social workers, in situations of natural disasters (earthquake, flood, fire), accidents, shipwrecks involving large numbers of victims, and any crisis involving large numbers of people where the presence of these teams is judged necessary.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.ekka.org.gr/

Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (Iatrikó Kéntro Apokatástasis Thymáton Vasanistiríon)

The Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims provides a rehabilitation centre for people who have been tortured and their families; it trains Greek and foreign health professionals in examining and treating torture victims, carries out scientific research, and offers incentives for research into torture and its consequences.

The Medical Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

  • provides a rehabilitation centre for people who have been tortured and their families
  • trains Greek and foreign health professionals in examining and treating torture victims
  • contributes to the broad dissemination of knowledge of the practice of torture and its different forms and the possibility of rehabilitation of torture victims
  • carries out scientific research and offers incentives for research into torture and its consequences
  • maintains and develops an information (documentation) centre
  • contributes to the prevention of torture by pursuing these objectives.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.mrct.org/

Research and Support Centre for Victims of Maltreatment and Social Exclusion (Kéntro Érevnas kai Ypostírixis Thymáton Kakopoíisis kai Koinonikoú Apokleismoú — ‘EKYThKKA’)

The Research and Support Centre for Victims of Maltreatment and Social Exclusion offers medical, psychological, social and legal support to victims of torture and organised violence, maltreatment and social exclusion.

The Research and Support Centre for Victims of Maltreatment and Social Exclusion

  • is a non-profit association governed by civil law
  • offers medical, psychological, social and legal support to victims of torture and organised violence, maltreatment and social exclusion
  • raises awareness of human rights issues, and disseminates knowledge of the existence of manifestations of violence and social exclusion and methods to deal with them both in Greece and abroad
  • offers humanitarian assistance to social groups that have been subjected to organised violence, torture, maltreatment and social exclusion, both in Greece and abroad
  • carries out scientific research on violence and torture, maltreatment and social exclusion
  • contributes to the prevention of torture, maltreatment and social exclusion.


CONTACT INFORMATION:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.cvme.gr/

Greek Council for Refugees (Ellinikó Symvoúlio gia tous Prósfyges)

The Greek Council for Refugees is a non-governmental organisation supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Greece through a wide range of psychosocial and legal services.

The Greek Council for Refugees

  • is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1989 to support refugees and asylum seekers in Greece
  • helps refugees integrate smoothly in Greece through a wide range of psychosocial and legal services
  • is the only Greek non-governmental, non-profit organisation dealing exclusively with people who are seeking asylum in Greece and who are considered to be refugees
  • is registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity as a special charitable organisation
  • is one of the six non-governmental organisations that protect human rights in Greece and is a member of the National Commission for Human Rights (Ethnikí Epitropí gia ta Dikaiómata tou Anthrópou)
  • is an implementing partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and a member of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.gcr.gr/

Greek Helsinki Monitor (Ellinikó Paratiritírio ton Symfonión tou Elsínki)

The Greek Helsinki Monitor monitors, publishes articles and lobbies on human rights issues in Greece.

The Greek Helsinki Monitor

  • was founded in 1992
  • is the Greek member of the International Helsinki Federation on Human Rights
  • monitors, publishes and lobbies on human rights issues in Greece and, from time to time, in the Balkans
  • has participated in and frequently coordinated the monitoring of Greek and Balkan media for stereotypes and hate speech, and has prepared detailed annual reports, parallel/unofficial reports to UN treaty bodies, and specialised reports on maltreatment and on ethnic, ethno-linguistic, religious and immigrant communities.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttps://greekhelsinki.wordpress.com/

Amnesty International Greek Section (Diethnís Amnistía Ellinikó Tmíma)

Amnesty International addresses governments, intergovernmental organisations, armed political groups, companies and other non-state actors and systematically and impartially investigates individual cases and patterns of human rights abuses.

Amnesty International

  • is a global, independent movement of volunteers fighting for the protection of human rights
  • defends prisoners of conscience, violence and poverty
  • seeks to end violence against women
  • seeks to abolish the death penalty, torture and limitations on freedom imposed in the name of the ‘war on terror’
  • combats discrimination against refugees, immigrants, minorities and defenders of human rights.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Website: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.amnesty.org.gr/

Last update: 14/07/2021

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.