News Local More trials for minor offences to be conducted 'in absentia' in the...

More trials for minor offences to be conducted ‘in absentia’ in the future

The Ministry of Justice has drafted a bill to allow defendants not to appear in court and to be convicted in their absence once they submit a plea of guilty in writing.

Minister of Justice, Ionas Nicolaou said the ministry had initially been working on a draft bill under which offenders facing charges for offences punishable by imprisonment of up to a year would have the right not to appear before court, but to submit their plea in writing.

However, when the Supreme Court’s opinion was sought on the matter, the proposal was extended to cover offences under which the law provides for imprisonment of up to three years. The bill was drafted on the basis of this suggestion. The aim of the Justice Ministry is to help  decongest the courts, save valuable time and assist in the quicker administration of justice.

Offences punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment include traffic offences, other minor criminal offences but not offences involving burglary and theft, drugs and aggravated physical attacks.

As the Minister of Justice explained, in these cases, if a court wishes to impose a harsher penalty, even after the defendants’ guilty plea, then it will request the accused’s physical presence. Nowadays guilty plea in absentia is permitted to a limited extent, mainly for common road traffic offences, non-payment of out of court fines etc.

Top Stories

Snow and fog in Troodos, roads open only to 4WD

Police are warning drivers heading to Troodos to be careful because of snow and fog. The Karvounas-Troodos, Platres-Troodos and Prodromos Troodos roads are open only...

Three reasons SMS to 8998 are rejected

According to the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, there are three reasons the system does not approve SMS messages by citizens wishing...

More than 50% of people over 80 in Cyprus already vaccinated or have appointment

More than 50% of citizens aged over 80  in Cyprus have so far received a vaccine against COVID19 or have arranged an appointment to...

Bank of Cyprus announces sale of €545 mn portfolio of bad loans

Bank of Cyprus Holdings Public Limited Company announced that it has reached agreement with funds affiliated with Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO), for...

Bad loans in Cyprus down 5.7% at the end of June 2020

Α further decrease of €381 million or 5.7% was recorded in aggregate NPLs compared with the end of June 2020. According to an announcement by...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...