/

Time for lady justice to awake

1329 views
5 mins read

We are wanton to believe that justice exists to protect the weak from the strong, law-abiding citizens from the rule breakers.

An idea of natural justice among us boils to the surface when a public scandal or unspeakable crime is uncovered.

Once we lose our sense of justice being done, that right is always greater than might–we slip into a dystopia of authoritarian rule, corruption and impunity for the political elite.

All of us are rule benders in some manifestation rather than hardened criminals; otherwise, nothing would be achieved.

There is no Cyprus rule book on how to behave or conduct oneself in public office; it’s a free-for-all for those with the longest reach.

The state might like to promote itself as a constitutional democracy, but this only serves as a thin veneer to gloss the darkest deeds at the heart of government.

If they ever do, those who enter the Cypriot power vortex can never be totally cleansed once they come out the other side.

To cover its tracks, the government wanting to appease the public when caught with its trousers down will order an independent inquiry that lasts longer than a space mission to Jupiter.

Before any action is taken, another probe is launched to look at the results of the previous one.

It’s an effective way of keeping retired judges employed in the hope the public interest or anger will simmer down.

Rarely does a minister resign for something exploding on their watch – unless the outcome is so unpalatable somebody has to pay.

When the Mari naval base went up in smoke – someone had to go to prison for the deaths of service personnel and firefighters.

But when the Helios Airways plane fell out of the sky, killing all 121 on board, nobody felt the need to resign, and those found guilty paid off their sentence in Greece.

After the golden passports for cash scandal blew up in the government’s face, nobody bit the bullet or apologised.

Those directly involved – the House speaker and an MP — did resign, but the government was inevitably responsible for poor oversight and flimsy due diligence.

It was a get-rich-quick cash jamboree that the government pretended happened in another country.

Corruption

A deep stain of corruption remains with the justice system now left to do the cleaning up.

Justice is supposed to be blind but try taking on the government machine for your day in court.

If the lawyers don’t eat you alive, then the system will.

Some would argue that the delays, booby traps and legal detours dissuade people from seeking justice or unravelling the truth.

And many of us would surrender before attempting to climb the peaks of injustice, but one mother has put the establishment to shame.

For 17 years, she has been a lone voice accusing the authorities of a cover-up in her son’s death while he was serving in the National Guard.

She has had to fight a lonely crusade to force the justice system to revisit the scene in which the police were all too happy to declare a suicide.

Three probes, an exhumation of the body and a damning ruling from the European Court of Human Rights suggests monumental negligence.

From the forensic examiner onwards, the initial investigation decided the 26-year-old soldier had committed suicide based on no hard evidence.

There was no urgency to question those who served with the victim – who had reported being bullied — or revisit the case once the evidence did not add up.

This was a bungled investigation of stupendous proportions the state seems incapable of rectifying.

If the mother hadn’t stood her ground and insisted her son was murdered – the truth would have been buried with her son.

The latest probe argues that three police officers and the forensic examiner are culpable for this painful miscarriage of justice.

It is hard to know whether it was a deliberate cover-up or a massive dose of incompetence that Cyprus is a world leader in.

It has to be assumed some know what happened or were involved but kept silent.

They may still be hoping the passage of time will preserve their dreadful secret, while others expect lady justice to awake from her slumber.