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DAY 103: CROSS-EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES AND PLAINTIFFS SOTIRIS POULIKOGIANNIS AND PANAGIOTIS GOUTIS

103rd hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, November 14th, 2016

I. Access to the Court

The courtroom remains open to the public upon presentation of a state ID card, which is retained by court authorities for the duration of the session. There were journalists present, as well as a small number of spectators.

II. Presence of defendants

Present at the proceedings was one (1) defendant, I. Kastrinos.

III. Proceedings

A. Continuation of cross-examination of witness and plaintiff Sotiris Poulikogiannis by the defense counsels

The witness was examined following his testimony of November 10th, 2016 [:it should be noted that during the previous hearing of November 11th, 2016, the witness did not attend court due to a previous personal commitment, and the hearing proceeded with the examination of plaintiff Mr. P. Goutis.] The witness was questioned by the following defense counsels: Papadellis, N. Michalolias, Roussopoulos, Alexiadis, Tsebetzis, and Karydomatis.

Regarding the attack against his person that took place on September 12th, 2013, he witness said that Kasidiaris [:a Golden Dawn MP] has stated that Golden Dawn had nothing to do with it, but in reality his [:Kasidiaris’] sole goal was to reward it. He also mentioned that so far there has been no condemnation of the attack [by Golden Dawn] and that, according to the aforementioned defendant, the attack is a fabricated incident. Concerning the statement by the aforementioned defendant that the Perama Shipping Yards (henceforth: S/Y) will operate under the aegis of Golden Dawn, the witness said that such a thing has never been done before, and that it reveals the strategic thinking surrounding said area, and it also reveals the motives. He then stressed that the Piraeus Metalworkers’ Union has never announced that it operates under the aegis of KKE. Clearing up an earlier comment he had made about Golden Dawn being a nazi party, the witness stated that Golden Dawn operates on two levels: it utilizes hate speech against immigrants etc., and carries out attacks against them.

When questioned whether he knows of any incidents wherein his union turned against other workers, he said he doesn’t know of any, at least for the past 15 years, and denied the existence of a relevant incident involving members of OAKKE.

The witness maintained that a meeting took place between the Golden Dawn leadership and the top S/Y contractors and that the former received €300,000-400,000 by the latter. Questioned about a specific announcement by the Metalworkers’ Union -which said that the use of Golden Dawn won’t suppress the workers’ movement no matter what the contractors think- he did not remember if he wrote it himself, but said that he fully endorses its content. The relevant complaint was verbally submitted to the District Attorney of the Piraeus Misdemeanors’ Court, but was dropped due to insufficient evidence. However, due to the aforementioned press release, which was widely circulated, the actions that had been planned by Golden Dawn’s leadership and the S/Y contractors had been put on pause. He went on to say that from 2012 up to September 2013 Golden Dawn never disrupted the various events of the Metalworkers’ Union, but that we must take into account that these events were routinely attended by hundreds of people.
The witness testified that he went to the aforementioned DA after the attack of September 12th, 2013, whereupon he referred to the plan by Antonakopoulos to attack him, which was why he invited him to go to a ship (that was in the S/Y under maintanance – in order to stage the attack).
As for Chatzidakis, the witness stated that he had introduced himself as a commander of an assault division of Golden Dawn with a measure of grandiosity, and that up until then he had no problem with him. He was a young man, and Poulikogiannis had hoped that he would change his views, but “he remained a soldier”.

The witness also clarified his statement that the attack had caused him and his comrades grievous bodily harm. And that “Temboneras was murdered without a nail [on the club]”. Defense counsel N. Michalolias focussed on whether during the preparatory inquiry he had been asked any questions -since they haven’t been recorded in the body of the testimony- and also wondered whether “there were even investigators in the room”. The witness was then asked why in this testimony he referred to “assault squads”, while in previous ones to “strike teams” and he said that he considers the two terms synonymous.

The witness then further clarified the conditions which prevailed during the attack of September 12th, 2013: He mentioned the lighting, which to be fair was low, but still enough to get a good look of the attackers and their weaponry up to the third tier, given that the latter had come very near his group. He explained that during the attack he was standing in front of his comrades and their cars. He didn’t see the weapon that hit him, but must have been a club fitted with metal bits, because the attackers near him had been holding similar weapons. When the policemen showed him photographs in the Perama Police Station they didn’t clarify if the persons in the photographs were Golden Dawn members. When asked why he didn’t pursue the matter personally to have the president of the school council of Perama EPAL [:Vocational High School] arrested, the witness said that he reported the matter and that the rest were up to the police. He also stated that he requested for telecommunications secrecy to be lifted in order to uncover every last perpetrator, but his request was not accepted.

Defense counsel Roussopoulos asked the witness whether his specialty was in scaffolding. After the witness’s affirmation, the defense counsel asked him whether he has testified in a Parliamentary Committee that he is a textile worker, whereupon there was tension between counsels and the hearing was briefly recessed. It should be noted that the presiding judge did not allow the witness to answer many of the questions of the aforementioned defense counsel, because they were deemed irrelevant to the crimes investigated by this court.

As for PAME, the witness stated that there was indeed a presidium, but vehemently denied the existence of a leader. As for MAS, the witness stated that it’s not an organization but a student union. After being shown a photograph, he said that it’s from a large protest march in 2011, where some people were wearing helmets, and others were carrying red flags (but not wearing helmets).

Responding to a question the witness said that he knew Lagos since 1998, from the five-and-dime shop his [Lagos’] mother kept in Perama.
The witness denied that a ten-minute discussion took place before the attack, citing the sms messages retrieved from Lagos’ mobile phone, because at the time he had been rendered unconscious. He went on to recount the content of these three sms messages. He also referred to the statements made by Lagos and Panagiotaros in a video taken on August 8th, 2013, in the S/Y cafeteria, talking about “uprooting the abscess of KKE”, and that “the PAME lackeys will be stamped out from the Zone [:the S/Y]”, etc.

As for Chilios, in whose storage room was found weaponry that had been used in the attack, the witness stated that as far as he knows he [:Chilios] wasn’t connected to Golden Dawn, neither was he a member of PAME, and that in the past he had eagerly participated in events by the Piraeus Metalworkers’ Union by providing the relevant equipment.

In response to a question by defense counsel Tsebetzis, whether according to historical data he found logical that he had been attacked with deadly intent by a group that included 15-year-olds, the witness answered in the affirmative, citing a relevant example from Hitler’s tactics.
Finally, the witness testified that after the attack he takes measures to protect himself.

B. Cross-examination of witness and plaintiff Panagiotis Goutis by the defense counsels

Then followed the continuation of the examination of P. Goutis, who initially clarified a few matters concerning the S/Y, more specifically the status of the people working there, as permanent or temporary employees. In response to a question he referred to Michalaros, Raftopoulos, Zaromas, Perivolarakis, and Kyritsopoulos and to the work they did in the S/Y.

The witness recounted the events of the attack that took place on September 12th, 2013, in effect repeating what he had said in his examination during the previous hearing. The witness also testified that he believes that the DIAS policemen [:motorcycle squad], which were present at the time of the attack, and in numbers sufficient to thwart it, in effect provided cover to the perpetrators. He also stated unequivocally that he had officially made this claim and that it was up to the State to activate the procedures against these officers.

According to the witness, the goal of the attack was to create a climate of fear in the community, since it was certain that the incident would be made known, and that things didn’t go as planned because the immunity status enjoyed by Golden Dawn was brought to an end following the events after the murder of P. Fyssas.

The witness affirmed once more that he is in possession of a party membership card, and reported that he has been accused once in the past and that he was proven innocent. He also testified that he and his companions do not ask for permission to put up posters because they consider it a basic civil right.

At this point the hearing was adjourned for Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016, following a joint counsels’ request, since it was judged that the original date for the next hearing, November 16th, 2016, would present a problem for whoever wanted to attend court, due to the traffic restrictions in place due to the planned visit of the President of the USA, Barack Obama.