Decision No. 125/2003 of the Council of the Court of Appeals of Thraki *
|Publisher||Greece: Courts of Appeal|
|Author||Court of Appeals of Thraki|
|Citation / Document Symbol||125/2003|
|Other Languages / Attachments||Greek|
|Cite as||Decision No. 125/2003 of the Council of the Court of Appeals of Thraki *, 125/2003, Greece: Courts of Appeal, 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/41207bd17.html [accessed 25 May 2015]|
|Comments||This is a summary in English provided by UNHCR Athens.|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Summary of facts: Mr. Ô.Ì. and Ms L.P. Iranian nationals, arrived illegally to Greece, were arrested and prosecuted for illegal entry into the country before the 3-member Misdemeanours Court of Orestias. The Court, by its ruling numbered 998/2002 sentenced them to one-month imprisonment and ordered the indefinite suspension of enforcement of the sentence and the immediate deportation of the defendants. While detained, awaiting for the deportation, the defendants requested the resumption of the procedure on the grounds that their defence claims, in the first-instance Court, were not interpreted from Persian into Greek but from Arabic into Greek, since the court-appointed interpreter, Mr A.O., an Iraqi national, knew that language. As a result, due to the inadequate interpretation they were unable to express before the Court their desire to apply for asylum in Greece due to their fear of persecution in their country. To corroborate their claims of fear of persecution in their country, they submitted, together with their application to resume the procedure, a summons, dated 19.11.2002, by the Rasht Islamic Revolutionary Court, calling the latter of the two applicants to appear before it on the charges of political, subversive activities.
Reasoning: The Court of Appeals of Thraki accepted the appellants' claim as to inadequate interpretation before the Misdemeanors' Court of Orestias, which condemned them for illegal entry into the country. It accepted that the activities against the regime of her country by the second defendant, their escape from their country and their illegal entry into Greece, in order to survive, were necessary but unknown to the Court that issued the sentence. In formulating its decision, the Court took into account the summons against the second defendant by an Islamic court, on charges of subversive activities.
Taking into consideration the facts of the case under examination and applying the provisions of article 31 of the Geneva Convention of 1951 on the Status of Refugees, the Court accepted that the claim of the defendants to fall under the protection provisions of the refugee status constitutes a personal reason for relieving them from the sentence.
The Court of Appeals of Thraki quashed the ruling, numbered 998/2002 by the 3-member Misdemeanors Court of Orestias and decided to transfer the case for examination to a court of a similar instance with the initial court of Orestias.
* Editor's note: see relevant case law in YRAL 1998, p. 166 and 168 and YRAL 1999, p. 128.