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DAY 19: “THEY CAME TO MY HOME AND KILLED MY CHILD”

19th Hearing, Women’s Section, Korydallos Prison, Athens, 6 October 2015

1. Court access

This hearing reconfirmed the police’s policy to grant access to any interested citizen provided they display their identity cards. The courtroom was packed. As regards the prospect of a change of venue, the matter was sidelined once again.

2. Presence and representation of the defendants

Thirteen of the defendants were present at the beginning of the hearing. Seven defendants were absent. The remaining defendants were, for the most part, represented by their counsel. The absent counsels were provisionally substituted by their colleagues.

3. The court’s decision regarding civil counsel’s request

The hearing began half an hour late, with the court’s decision regarding the civil counsel’s request that audiovisual equipment (a projector, computer, etc.) be made available so that evidence such as videos, photographs, diagrams and audio recordings can be presented to the court as witnesses testify. The court turned down the application, stating: “The court rejects civil counsel’s request. DVDs will be viewed during the examination of the evidence.” We note here that when the hearing began at 8.45am, a tripod and projection screen had already been set up in the courtroom. The equipment was dismantled just before the hearing got underway.

4. Magda Fyssa answers questions from the civil counsel

Andreas Tzelis (counsel for Magda Fyssa): Do you know whether Roupakias said anything when he was arrested?

Magda Fyssa: The arresting officer told me that once in the police car, Roupakias said, “I am one of yours.” “Are you a policeman,” they asked him. He replied, “No, a Golden Dawner.” At the police station, he walked around the place as if he owned it. The police didn’t arrest other Golden Dawners, but they brought in Pavlos’ friends. They locked his friends up in a room with Pavlos’ killer. At the time, they didn’t know he was the killer; he looked so relaxed there they assumed he was a policeman himself. He sat cross-legged and chatted on the phone. Then the guys found out that Pavlos was dead and began to grieve. The murderer asked to be moved elsewhere and the policeman directed him to the third floor. He went up there without handcuffs, free and utterly sure of himself. The kids told me that he joked with them, asked them why they were there, and said, “I hope my shoes don’t make me look like a Golden Dawner.”

Tzelis: Do you know whether Patelis communicated with a Golden Dawn MP before the group SMS was sent out?

Fyssa: Yes. I know from the case file that Patelis and Lagos communicated.

Tzelis: What exactly did you see in the video found on Patelis’ hard drive? What did you notice as far as regards the assault squad’s tactics?

Presiding judge: We have already decided that these videos will not be screened now.

Tzelis: Tell us about the video.

Fyssa: I saw Patelis in one of the organisation’s offices. He was planning an attack and giving out orders to the members. Specifically, he said: “We are Golden Dawners. We will do as we are told. If I get the go-ahead then we will act. Whatever moves will be slaughtered.” And that’s what happened, how Pavlos was murdered. A squad got together on Patelis’ instructions. I’m sure he got the order from Lagos.

Tzelis: From whom does Patelis get his orders?

Fyssa: They all get their orders from their leaders.

Judge: How do you know that?

Fyssa: From the structure of the hierarchy. I’ve been following it for two years. That’s all I do. All I think about it my son’s murder. All I do is observe and gather facts. The leader gives orders and they trickle down.

Judge: How do you know all this?

Fyssa: From photographs, from interviews, from the case file.

Tzelis: Have you heard audio recordings of [Nikos] Apostolou?

Fyssa: Yes, talking on the phone to a woman. She asks him what happened and says, “Is this true?” He replies, “Yes. That’s how this sort of thing gets done. Tell my mother to throw away weapons, knives, stickers, but tell her not to throw away the clothes.” He mentions the killer – that he gets paid €600 per kill. Such is Apostolou, the defendant.

Judge: But is he a defendant in the murder case?

Fyssa: I don’t know. I know that he is a defendant. In the video, someone I can’t recognise asks him if it was a professional job. He was unknown until recently, but now there is ample evidence that he was a prominent member of Golden Dawn. Roupakias was not a passing follower of Golden Dawn.

Tzelis: But he insists that he had nothing to do with Golden Dawn. Is there more evidence of his membership on the internet?

Fyssa: Yes, there are pictures of him together with Lagos and others.

Tzelis: Whom did Aggos call?

Fyssa: There are records of countless phone calls between Aggos and Kazantzoglou. They kept each other updated until Patelis sent the group SMS calling members to meet at the local branch; within 15 minutes everyone was there. The lower-ranking member calls the higher, etc.

Tzelis: Whose phone was found in the killer’s car?

Fyssa: Kazantzoglou’s.

Tzelis: What was his role in all this?

Fyssa: He is on the five-member board [that runs the Golden Dawn branch].

Tzelis: Tell me: are Golden Dawners trained in assault tactics?

Fyssa: Yes. They receive military training.

Judge: How do you know that?

Fyssa: From the material at hand.

Tzelis: Explain why Pavlos didn’t run away to save himself.

Fyssa: There was no way Pavlos would have fled. Why would he run away in his own neighbourhood? Besides, he wouldn’t have left the girls behind.

Tzelis: Pavlos told the girls to run away. Did they?

Judge: No. It was Chrysa. She went to the police. We’ve been over this.

Tzelis: Did your husband tell you whether a policeman passed by your dying son and said something?

Fyssa: Yes, it was a policeman who was supposedly trying to help. Chrysa said to him, “Now you show up? I’ve been calling you for ages. What are you doing?” “No, I wasn’t here,” he said, but Chrysa is sure that three minutes earlier, she had tried to drag him to the scene, begging him. Some other guy we didn’t know at the time passed by and said, “You brought your faggot to the bar.” Afterwards, Chrysa recognised him in the Mesolongi incident. So, he was a Golden Dawner as well.

Tzelis: Have you received threats or insults since Pavlos’ death?

Fyssa: Of course, I still do. Fifty days hadn’t gone by when an assault squad passed by Pavlos’ memorial, they forced people on the street and in surrounding cafes to accept their fliers, their newspaper. Then they went to Resalto, an anarchist social centre in the neighbourhood. They destroyed it. Then they vandalised my child’s memorial. Then they passed by our house on their motorbikes, to show what tough guys they are, with no hesitation. All of us receive threatening messages, even the lawyers. They are utterly sure of their strength; they do these things with impunity.

Judge: Have the witnesses been threatened?

Fyssa: Yes. Mantas and Xypolytos were beaten up on their way to the courtroom on the first day of the trial. They still try to terrorise people.

Tzelis: After Pavlos’ death, did other people appear publicly to claim a moment of glory?

Fyssa: Yes. Many people give interviews claiming to have been Pavlos’ friends, which they never were.

Judge: Name them.

Tzelis: The “Deadly One”.

Judge: It is not for you to respond to the question.

Fyssa: This “Deadly One” gave an interview full of lies.

Tzelis: Has anyone claimed political responsibility for the murder?

Fyssa: Yes: Michaloliakos, on 17 September.

***

Violetta Kougiatsou (counsel for Magda Fyssa): Tell us about Pavlos’ personality.

Fyssa: He was a sweet boy who turned into a mature man. He had ideas and principles. He wrote what he believed in his songs; before he died he had taken to helping the homeless. He helped, he was clean, a free spirit with principles; those were his only weapons.

Kougiatsou: You said he gave concerts. Did that make him recognisable in the neighbourhood?

Fyssa: Yes. People knew him, and not only in the neighbourhood.

Kougiatsou: Did his lyrics bother anyone?

Fyssa: Yes. Their antifascist and antiracist content did. His wanted to educate younger people.

Kougiatsou: Was this reason enough for him to become a target?

Fyssa: Anyone who opposes them is a target.

Kougiatsou: How did he get in touch with his friends that evening?

Fyssa: I’m not sure. They may have already agreed that the others would show up late.

Kougiatsou: Do you know why he invited them?

Fyssa: So they could watch the match together.

Judge: How do you know that?

Fyssa: That’s what Chrysa and his friends told me.

***

Chrysa Papadopoulou (counsel for the Fyssas family): Fourteen people are accused of complicity besides the three [who were] in Koralli. Why?

Fyssa: Because of the phone calls exchanged among them. The one called the other.

Judge: Do the phone calls suffice for us to reach a conclusion?

Fyssa: It’s evidence.

Papadopoulou: Was there a gap between phone calls?

Fyssa: Yes, exactly. They stopped for a short while. There was an storm of phone calls between 23:50 and 23:52 and suddenly, until 12:08, they stopped, which means that they were all there, at the scene of the murder, and then dispersed and started talking to each other again: “what happened”; “they killed him”; “where are you”, etc.

Papadopoulou: You mentioned a chain of phone calls between Aggos, etc. How long did it last?

Fyssa: Fifteen minutes, they gathered quickly. They’re disciplined that way.

Papadopoulou: Was Golden Dawn very active at the time?

Fyssa: Yes. The assault on the PAME trade unionists had happened a week earlier. It is pure luck that the Meligalas attack didn’t result any casualties. The police tolerated it and no one was arrested. The same happened in the Synergio [a social venue] in Ilioupoli [a district of Athens]. They went in there with bats. The same in Antipnoia.” They destroy, they beat up, they yell slogans: “We’ll kill you.”

***

At this point, Ms Fyssa asked for a break given she didn’t feel well. The presiding judge called for a ten-minute recess.

Papadopoulou: Have you noticed much Golden Dawn activity in the neighbourhood?

Fyssa: People were bullied during both elections, especially during those in September. The police tolerates it. No one was arrested, not in the PAME case nor in Pavlos’ case. There were cameras in Meligalas. They showed up in Antipnoia in the same way. The assault squads show up, they destroy, they beat up. “We are Golden Dawn,” they say. They have a specific target, place, time. They have power; they are at ease. Some people, around 50 of them, went to Pavlos’ old school with Lagos.

Papadopoulou: Can anyone set a slogan?

Fyssa: No, only the leader. Everything is premeditated, ordered, timed. They start at a specific time and end at a specific time.

***

Eleftheria Tompatzoglou (counsel for the Fyssas family): I will read out two excerpts from the statements.

Judge: No. You will ask questions without reading anything.

Tompatzoglou: Are the assault squad’s tactics consistent?

Fyssa: All their assaults were the same as the assault on Pavlos. With Antipnoia, Synergio, and PAME. That is how they operate.

***

Takis Zotos (counsel for the Egyptian fishermen): Can you give us a time frame and describe the video from Patelis’ hard drive?

Fyssa: Patelis said that they would send in some “drums” once they got Lagos’ go-ahead. “Drums,” you know, is their term for “thugs”.

Zotos: Do you know if anything like that happened before?

Fyssa: An attack in Panagitsa [a square in Piraeus] on 15 August. There was going to be a fete and there would be foreigners and they said they would go there to “clean the place up”.

Here, Dimitris Gavelas, defence counsel for Patelis, intervened. He submitted a complaint regarding Zotos’ question about the video which, due to the court’s recent rejection of civil counsel’s request, could not be screened. The presiding judge did not allow him to interrupt, to which he reacted: “I demand the floor, otherwise I will submit an appeal. You will listen to me. You can’t listen only to the other side.” The presiding judge responded, “You can make your appeal, counsel. This is a courtroom and I am calling you to order.” The counsel then said to the presiding judge, “this isn’t correct protocol. What video is she talking about?” The presiding judge responded, “You know very well what she’s talking about. The witness will continue.”

Fyssa: We’re talking about the Skarpeli video.

Zotos: Do you know anything about the attack on the Egyptian fishermen? Who did it?

Fyssa: Yes, I know about it. The man was sleeping and they beat him up.

Zotos: Was it carried out by mere members or by cadres?

Fyssa: By Pantazis, who is the “cell leader” in Perama.

Zotos: Do you know if the victims had weapons?

Fyssa: What weapons? Ours didn’t; the Egyptians were sleeping; the PAME trade unionists were just flyposting. What weapons?

Zotos: Do the defendants live near you?

Fyssa: Some of them do. Tsalikis, Aggos, Michalaros.

Zotos: Would this have happened if they hadn’t been members of Golden Dawn?

Fyssa: No.

Judge: This is a matter of speculation. Next question, please.

Zotos: How could the murder have been planned within a quarter of an hour? Could it have been planned a while earlier?

Judge: The witness has already answered the question. Next question.

Zotos: Before the murder, what impression did you have of Golden Dawn?

Fyssa: That it was a criminal organisation. But not in the way we ended up experiencing it – where they came to my home and killed my child, just like that. There’s a criminal organisation out there called Golden Dawn and it is in the Greek parliament.

Zotos: Do you know if Lagos issued other orders?

Judge: Now you are straying from the matter and are outside your rights.

***

Thanasis Kampagiannis (counsel for the Egyptian fishermen): How close to your home did the murder occur?

Fyssa: Near Koralli; 50–100 meters.

Kampagiannis: Did many people witness the murder?

Fyssa: Many people went out on their balconies to watch.

Here the presiding judge asked Kampagiannis to limit himself to questions permitted by his role as civil counsel.

Kampagiannis: Did neighbours approach you and what did they say? How old were the opposing parties on average?

Judge: Please limit yourself to the matter at hand.

Kampagiannis: I’m interested in the balance of strength.

Judge: Limit yourself to questions regarding membership of the organisation.

Kampagiannis: Was your son armed?

Judge: The question has been answered.

Kampagiannis: Did your son’s friends have weapons?

Fyssa: None at all.

Kampagiannis: Who is the “big one” who was mentioned in Apostolou’s phone call?

Fyssa: Michaloliakos.

***

Takis Sapountzakis (counsel for the PAME trade unionists): Who was present at Koralli?

Judge: How is this relevant to the PAME case? Limit yourself to the membership issue.

Sapountzakis: Was Michalaros present at your son’s murder?

Fyssa: Yes, he was.

Sapountzakis: There is a video in which Lagos gives out orders, with Michalaros standing next to him: what is announced in the video?

Fyssa: That they will “clean up” Perama shipyards.

Sapountzakis: The video was taken on 8 August 2013. What happened a month later?

Judge: These are leading questions. Let the witness tell us.

Fyssa: In fact, the attack did happen and luckily there were no deaths, but there were serious injuries.

Sapountzakis: Was Michalaros there?

Fyssa: He was everywhere.

Sapountzakis: Can you discern a pattern in Golden Dawn’s attacks?

Fyssa: Assault squads with clubs that cripple people on demand. They are coordinated under the organisation’s discipline.

Sapountzakis: What do you mean by “assault squads”?

Here the presiding judge interrupted to raise objections to the counsel’s questions.

Sapountzakis: Who organised the assaults and who carried them out?

Fyssa: Golden Dawn.

***

Antonis Adanasiotis (counsel for the PAME trade unionists): Did the defendants target specific people?

Fyssa: Anyone who opposed them, for example, communists, antifascists; migrants really bothered them.

Adanasiotis: What was their ideology?

Judge: Do you think this is an appropriate question?

Adanasiotis: Yes. It is relevant to the indictment.

Fyssa: Recently, their leader said that they were the descendants of those defeated in 1945. They are Nazis; National Socialists. These are the leftovers, the descendants of the collaborators and the Security Battalions [Greek collaborationist units in the Second World War].

***

Thodoris Theodoropoulos (counsel for the PAME trade unionists): Was it an organisation like the one in Halkidiki and Amaliada or was it different?

Fyssa: It is a well-trained and criminal organisation that organised attacks across Greece.

Judge: How do you know that?

Fyssa: We read it and we hear it; they even have activities in Sparta.

Theodoropoulos: Do you know if the Nikea local branch released a statement after the murder?

Fyssa: I don’t know.

Judge: Despite all your help, she doesn’t know.

Throughout all this, people were whispering and muttering comments in the courtroom. Magda Fyssa asked the defence counsel not to speak among themselves because she couldn’t hear the questions she was being asked. “This is impossible. I can’t concentrate in this commotion.”

Her husband, Panagiotis, stood up in the crowd: “Don’t you see? They’re doing it on purpose! They’re shouting in order to confuse her!” Then he turned to a defendant: “What are you looking at?” Tzelis, his counsel, asked that the defendants not turn towards the father. Panagiotis Fyssas said, “Don’t look at me like you’re trying to say, ‘I’ll show you.’”

Theodoropoulos submitted a document to the court containing the details of a Golden Dawn accounting company, which showed that Roupakias was treasurer and Patelis’ deputy in the organisation. The presiding judge ordered that the document be included in the evidence to be viewed later and then interrupted the hearing again for 10 minutes.

Theodoropoulos: What was Golden Dawn’s statement the day after the murder?

Fyssa: That it was a scuffle over the match.

Theodoropoulos: Case law suggests that if something arises from a witness’ testimony, I can submit more details for him or her to confirm. I am submitting evidence from the press on the matter of the football match.

He submitted a document drawn from Golden Dawn’s statements on the day following the Fyssas murder.

Theodoropoulos: Mrs Fyssa, what do you have to say about the statement that a member was not responsible for the murder?

Fyssa: That he wasn’t a mere member, but a cadre of the organisation.

***

Angelos Vrettos (counsel for the PAME trade unionists): Do you know what role Poulikogiannis played in relation to Lagos’ statement regarding “cleaning up” Perama shipyards?

Fyssa: He was a trade unionist, perhaps even a union president. I can’t remember.

Vrettos: Can you tell me who expresses the construct nowadays?

Fyssa: Its MPs.

***

Eleni Zafiriou (counsel for the PAME trade unionists): What is the group’s political expression?

Fyssa: Golden Dawn in parliament, with Michaloliakos as its leader.

Zafiriou: Who runs the organisation?

Judge: That’s a different matter.

Zafiriou: Pantazis is part of the management.

Judge: Then limit yourself to Pantazis.

Zafiriou: Do you know of other directors?

Fyssa: Lagos, Panagiotaros, Kasidiaris. Didn’t they find an MP’s car at the scene of the PAME assault?

Zafiriou: Golden Dawn’s leader declared that Golden Dawners are national socialists and the descendants of those defeated 1945. Can you confirm that?

Fyssa: Yes, he said that. I have seen a video in which Zaroulia [his wife] says that we, the women of Golden Dawn, support the boys in black shirts.

5. Questions from the defence

Dimitris Gavelas (counsel for Patelis, Popori and Pantazis) took the floor, citing article 335 of the code of civil procedure on the matter of appeals against the court in the event of poor direction by the chair, saying that the defendants can lodge an objection immediately. Specifically, he said, “I will make my declaration when I please, and at a time that I think is appropriate.”

Someone in the public gallery called out, “Counsel, there is a judge, would you like to take over?” The presiding judge then expelled the member of the public. Velentza (defence counsel) said: “That man is a witness. Why is he in the room?” The man left shouting, “What is she saying? I’m not a witness. Go ahead and let the killer’s lawyers run the trial.”

Gavelas continued, saying that he had asked the court to ban questions pertaining to the means of presenting evidence (videos, photographs, etc.), which the court had already decided would be displayed at a later stage. “Then I asked to exercise the right of appeal and that right was taken away from me. They have violated my client’s rights under article 171 of the code of civil procedure. I demand that anything referring to evidence that has been presented prematurely be struck from the record.”

He then raised an objection, demanding that the proceedings be declared null and void. The presiding judge asked him to submit the request in writing immediately, but the lawyer replied that it needed to type up first. The presiding judge insisted that it be submitted on the same day.

***

Vasilis Kontovazenitis (counsel for Anadiotis): Why did other friends of his [Pavlos Fyssas] show up given the atmosphere was so hostile?

Fyssa: I didn’t say the atmosphere was hostile; I said that they didn’t know that it was a Golden Dawn hangout. They were watching the match and they invited their friends to join them. How is this a question? They mean to say that the murder didn’t happen.

***

Dimitra Velentza (counsel for Barekas, Chrysafitis, Kalaritis, Kazantzoglou, Kouzilou, Stefas): Were you present at any of the events that you have described?

Fyssa: What do you mean? No. I said I read and heard about them.

Velentza: Let it be placed into the record that I’m submitting a statement.

***

Vasilis Oplantzakis (counsel to Kazantzoglou): Do you know your son’s friends personally?

Fyssa: Some of them, yes.

Oplantzakis: How many of them did you know at the time?

Fyssa: Lots of his friends came and went to the house. I don’t know all of them by name. The important thing is that Pavlos knew them.

Oplantzakis: Did you know Mantas? Did you know him to see? What about Melachrinopoulos?

Fyssa: I met them, yes.

Oplantzakis: Did your husband know them?

Fyssa: How is that a question? I don’t know.

Oplantzakis: Did your husband tell you whom he saw when he arrived there?

Fyssa: Definitely Chrysa and the police. I didn’t hear his testimony.

Oplantzakis: Mrs Fyssa’s testimony over the past two days has been a litany of opinions, not of facts. On the matter of Fyssas’ songs and their antiracist and antifascist content, I have three of Fyssas’ songs in front of me. Do you want me to read you some extracts so we can determine if the lyrics are indeed antifascist?

Fyssa: There are over 200 songs, not three. Were you capable of understanding them, you would grasp the antifascist character of his songs on the basis of these three alone.

***

Christoforos Tsagkas (counsel for Germenis and Michalaros): Do you know if Michalaros had anything to do with the assault on the PAME trade unionists?

Fyssa: I told you earlier that I saw him in the Lagos video.

Tsagkas: You said that Michalaros and Aggos were in the bar. Did they speak on the phone?

Fyssa: Michalaros and Tsalikis left Koralli and went to the scene of the murder.

Tsagkas: You said “the Deadly One” wasn’t one of your son’s friends. Do you know if there are any pictures of the two of them together?

Fyssa: I said they weren’t friends; not that they didn’t know each other.

***

Alexandros Alexiadis (counsel for Aggos): What evidence from the case file gave you the impression that Lagos gave the order?

Fyssa: Patelis’ phone records and the video we have seen.

Alexiadis: What other conversation suggests that an order was given?

6. Statements by the defence

Dimitra Velentza asked that it be placed on the record that Magda Fyssa was not an eyewitness and that her testimony is based on what she heard from eyewitnesses and on what she read in the case file.

Oplantzakis stated that Melachrinopoulos was not an eyewitness.

Palevratzis stated that all the evidence in the case file suggests that Lagos never issued an order.

7. Irini Fyssa’s (Pavlos’ sister) testimony

The judge then called Irini Fyssas to take the witness stand. Tzelis, counsel for the Fyssas family, requested for a short break so that she could take her mother’s place.

Judge: Are you younger than Pavlos?

Irini Fyssa: Four years younger.

Judge: What happened that night?

Fyssa: I received a phone call from my father. My mother was with me at my home. I couldn’t accept that something bad had happened to Pavlos. I got into a taxi and went to the public hospital. They informed me there. I went to the morgue and saw him there, frozen, dead. I begged him to get up so we could go home. Pavlos went out to watch the match and never came home. It was planned. He went to Koralli with Chrysa and his friend Giorgos. They were in our neighbourhood, about 50 meters from his home. They didn’t know what Koralli was. In the bar there were three people wearing combat trousers and black sweatshirts.

Judge: Did someone send a message to anyone?

Fyssa: No. They had arranged to watch the match together. When the match ended, they left the bar. Initially, they saw only 15 people on the corner of Kefallinias Street, on the other side of the road, with boots and weapons. Brass knuckles, helmets, crowbars, bludgeons, these kinds of weapons. The police was there and did nothing. It was total havoc and someone said, “it’s no big deal”. The police did nothing. They were already there. Nothing. For no reason. They just sat there. The others cursed, shouted slogans, they weren’t just standing there. Their gestures were meant to provoke. They wanted something more. The kids started to leave…

Here, Fyssa asked to sit down because she didn’t feel well.

The hearing ended and the court was adjourned until 8 October 2015 when Fyssa will be called to continue her testimony.

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