Court finds police officer guilty in fatal traffic accident, sentences him to suspended sentence

Iasonas 1

A court in Athens has found the police officer involved in a traffic accident that cost the life of 23-year-old student Iasonas Lalaounis guilty of causing his death through negligence. The officer was sentenced to a three-year suspended prison sentence.

The trial of the driver, a police officer, began on Thursday, three years after the fatal accident and four postponements.

The court's decision triggered outrage among Lalaounis' family and friends.

"This is how Greek justice works! There is no justice!" Lalaounis' mother told reporters outside the court on Friday morning.

"Not even his driving license was taken away, not even a conviction to set an example... to show that someone is punished when he drives illegally," Natasa Lalaounis pointed out.

"I am so angry, so disappointed. Of course, I did not expect anything else from the Greek justice system, but I wanted to believe... maybe something would change at the last moment, that they would take away his license. In this sense, you can continue driving even when you have killed someone on the road. This is inconceivable to me..." she added.

On March 12, 2021, the police officer turned illegally to the left to enter the side entrance of the Greek Parliament, while the marking on the street clearly showed that only straight-forward driving was permitted.

According to media information, the prosecutor denied the police officer the mitigating factor of previous "honest life" as he not only did not comply with the Traffic Code but also followed the same practice systematically at an earlier time, and therefore the incident cannot constitute a "discordance" in his behavior.

The defendant had told the court that they had always made the turn there, even though they knew it was illegal.

The officer was a member of the police escort team of MP Dora Bakoyiannis, the sister of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The court's decision angered not only Lalaounis' parents and friends but also social media users, with one noting: "Had he killed a pet, he would have been fined 30,000 euros."

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