The Greek Supreme Court has annulled the last will and testament of a deceased Greek Muslim man as it was not compliant with sharia law. The decision overturns the rights of Greek minority Muslims in Thrace to prepare wills under Greek civil law.
Demeter Simeonidou, a Muslim man that lived in Thrace, had prepared his will in accordance with Greek civil law, leaving all his assets to his wife. The will was challenged by the deceased man's sister who claimed a share of his assets, claiming that the Islamic law of succession does not recognize the right of a Muslim to make a public will.
The Muslim minority of Thrace have had the right to draw up civil wills under Greek law since 1946. Ethnikos reported only family law was previously under the jurisdiction of Islamic muftis. Thousands of Muslims in Thrace that have drawn up wills under Greek law may now be affected by the ruling of the Supreme Court that sharia law takes precedence over Greek law.
According to the Berkley Centre the "Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur for Religion or Belief" have criticised Greece's Islamic courts in Thrace on the grounds of gender discrimination. Officially Greek Muslims have the right to choose between Greek civil law and Islamic jurisprudence. This case could take the right of choice away in cases where Greek civil law is challenged.