ASA Denounces Greek Supreme Court Decision
to Uphold Double-Jeopardy Conviction
of Former Chief Statistician
Reacting to the June 8 news from the Greek supreme court that they rejected the appeal by Greece’s former chief statistician, Andreas Georgiou, of his 2017 conviction for violation of duty, the American Statistical Association released the following statement:
The American Statistical Association (ASA) denounces the decision of the Greek supreme court that was made public June 8, 2018, to reject the appeal by former head of the Greek national statistics office, Andreas Georgiou, of his August 1, 2017, conviction for violation of duty for not submitting statistics for approval before their release. The news of the double-jeopardy conviction—after a unanimous three-judge panel acquitted Georgiou in December 2016 of the same charges—comes fewer than three weeks after the news that Georgiou, by means of yet another decision of the Greek supreme court, will have to face a triple-jeopardy trial for complicity against the state following two sets of acquittal of these charges and then annulment of the acquittal.
The developments are deeply troubling both for the judicial system for repeatedly rejecting acquittals—and thereby allowing multiple-jeopardy trials—and for the yearslong harassment of a loyal public servant performing his official duties with integrity, honesty, accuracy, and conformity to international statistical standards. As stated in the ASA’s May 2018 statement, Georgiou’s methods and statistics have been endorsed by the international community. Further, the continued prosecution of Georgiou undermines the current production of Greek statistical figures, the accuracy and objectiveness of which are paramount for attracting foreign investment and ending Greece’s cycles of economic crises and, above all, for the functioning of democracy in Greece.
Earlier this year, 46 organizations and more than 1,100 individuals urged Greek authorities to drop its prosecutions of Georgiou and his colleagues, exonerate them of past convictions, drop ongoing investigations relating to their official work, and apologize for the appalling treatment they have endured over a protracted period. The repeated prosecution—especially after acquittals by Greek courts—violates Georgiou’s scientific freedom and human rights, basic freedoms and rights that are essential for the statistical and scientific profession.
The American Statistical Association reiterates the broad and international call for Greece to end these unjust prosecutions for the good of all.
The international statistical, economic, and finance communities have rallied around Georgiou to fight the unjust charges. Besides the statement signed by 46 organizations and more than 1,100 individuals, prior statements by the ASA and the International Statistical Institute, there is a crowdfunding effort to help Georgiou with his mounting legal costs. More information about his case is available at www.tinyurl.com/SupportGeorgiou.