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DAY 105: CONTINUATION OF CROSS-EXAMINATION OF WITNESS AND PLAINTIFF DIMITRIOS DIAMANTAKIS

105th Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, November 23rd, 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, until all audience seats in the courtroom are filled. Compared with the hearings at the Court of Appeals, audience and journalist attendance was limited.

II. Presence and representation of the defendants

Present at the proceedings were defendants Ioannis Kastrinos, while the civil action’s request is still pending regarding the personal appearance of the defendants in the separate case of the attack against members of PAME.

III. Continuation of cross-examination of witness and plaintiff Dimitrios Diamantakis

A. Cross-examination of the witness by the defense counsels

Responding to relevant questions by defense counsel Tsagas (for Germenis) the witness stated that he received no other medical attention beyond the treatment at the Thriassio Hospital. He added that he didn’t work for several days afterwards due to pain in his sides. Concerning his employment contract he said he has an individual contract with his employer and that in the past he had been employed full-time; at the time of the attack he was working part-time; and that now he is again working full-time.

Defense counsel Oplantzakis was the first to take the floor. Responding to questions the witness testified that the trade union in the Perama Shipping Yards [S/Y] operates since 1985 and that the attack took place because Golden Dawn wanted to put an end to the PAME union activity in Perama. Defense counsel Oplantzakis asserted that the witness did not sustain a shoulder wound by a nail, and that’s why, according to the defense counsel, he made no mention of it in his hearing testimony. The presiding judge read the witness’s testimony from the record. It became clear that the witness had said in his testimony that he himself believed that the shoulder wound was made by nails, something that the forensic surgeon later confirmed. Responding to another question, the witness stated that he had participated in another PAME poster action before the one on the night of the attack, but he did not remember whether it took place 15, 20, or 30 days before the night the attack took place. The defense counsel asked why the assailants didn’t attack them then. The witness answered that he didn’t know the reason, perhaps the place wasn’t to their liking. To another question he answered that the perpetrators chose to attack under cover of night because it’s quieter and not because they wanted to hide their identity, since they “introduced” themselves. When asked whether the assailants’ modus operandi was due to their training, he stated that in the army when a general gave an order he didn’t much care about the way the soldiers would choose to execute it, but the result it would effect.

Defense counsel Velentza (for defendants Kalaritis, Kouzilos, Barekas, Stefas, and Chrysafitis) asked to be shown the photograph included in the case files depicting the shoulder wound, and asked the witness whether he had stated that he had 3 puncture wounds and that he was bleeding. The witness replied in the affirmative and said that he showed the wound to the doctor. A few days later, on September 17th, 2013 he went to testify with Vaxevanis, and it was there they advised him to go to a forensic surgeon, which he did. The defense counsel showed him the photograph of the wound and asked the witness if that’s what he meant by “bleeding”. The witness once more replied affirmatively and in a next question answered that after he was discharged from Thriassio Hospital he didn’t particularly treat the wound apart from changing the dressing. Responding to relevant questions about the medical opinion he received in Thriassio the witness stated that he made an application to the hospital and he received the opinion afterwards. He also testified that the opinion in question did not advise the patient to be absent from work but he did regardless, for as long as his sides were in pain.

Defense counsel V. Kapernaros (for Kouzilos) attempted to read a document from the case files. The presiding judge interrupted the defense counsel stating that this court has already decided that the documents in the case file will be read later in the course of the trial, after the hearing testimonies of all witnesses have been concluded. He prompted the defense counsel to question the witness without first reading the document. The defense counsel protested that under article 333 of the CCP he has a right to read the document, and submitted a motion to read the document. His motion was recorded in the trial records after a suggestion by the presiding judge. The state prosecutor proceeded to read to the audience article 333 of the CCP, which stipulates that defense counsels have the right to submit questions, but, as the prosecutor said, nowhere does it say that the court is under any obligation to allow him the reading of said documents, and proposed to reject the defense counsel’s motion, and to submit his question without reading the document. The presiding judge concurred the prosecutor’s proposal and repeated once more that the court has already reached a decision on the matter. The defense counsel memorized the content of the document and asked the witness whether he reported only pain, as the medical certificate mentions. The witness answered in the affirmative. The defense counsel asked the witness how is bleeding justified, since at the medical examination he reported only pain. The witness answered that the bleeding can be seen in the photographs. At this point the defense counsel concluded his questions but intervened later to motion that the witness be detained for perjury until the conclusion of the arguments. The state prosecutor reminded the defense counsel that the witness is also a plaintiff and for this reason he was examined without oath. She went on to say that this particular trial will continue for a long time and it’s not possible to detain the witness until the conclusion of the arguments, and then proposed to reject the motion. The civil action counsels concurred the prosecutor’s proposal and added that there was absolutely no grounds for perjury without oath on the part of the witness and plaintiff, and pointed out that the conclusion of the present argument could conceivably be reached in a year. Defense counsel Kapernaros insisted that the wound that the witness is talking about is not the one being shown. Defense counsel Velentza added that the photographs show red color around the wound, but she did not accept that as proof of bleeding, since she maintained that the red coloring could have rubbed off by red paint in the area. The presiding judge rejected the defense counsel’s request.

Defense counsel Michalolias (for Kasidiaris) asked about the shoulder wound. The witness stated that none of his companions on that night told him that he had three puncture wounds on the shoulder, and in the hospital the doctors were too busy attending to the victim of a car accident so they didn’t give much attention to the witness, and it was him that asked of the nurses to dress his wound. It was the forensic surgeon that certified that the wound had been made by nails, and that’s why he testified to that effect. The witness went on to say that at the time he didn’t see the weapon they were hitting him with, but considering that the assailants were holding clubs and truncheons, and that they weren’t hitting him with hands or feet, he concluded they had hit him with clubs and truncheons. In his first testimony he didn’t mention that he had been hit with a club because he thought it was self-explanatory, since he stated that they were holding clubs and that he was hit. The presiding judge read aloud the witness’s testimony which says that he didn’t see what he was being hit with and what the assailants had been holding.

Defense counsel Roussopoulos (for Lagos) asked the witness what was the width of the street and if it is correct, since the witness claimed he fell on the pavement while it was occupied by scaffolding. The witness answered that the street had a width of about 5 m and that the pavement was indeed occupied by a scaffold. He fell on the 10-20 cm of the pavement that remained. The defense counsel proceeded to say that then state secretary A. Georgiadis (in the New Democracy government) had made statements similar to that of Golden Dawn, which statements according to the witness was what sparked the attack against his person, and asked of the witness to comment. The witness answered that the Georgiadis statements were never realized, contrary to those of Golden Dawn. Responding to another question he stated that he believes what he reads in the media when something is published in more than two sources. Finally he was asked whether the union complained when he started working part-time. The witness stated that the union has members and power in the S/Y, but not everywhere.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Zografos the witness stated that on the same night, in another area, there was another group of KKE Youth League members which arrived at the scene of the attack as the wounded were waiting for the ambulances to come. He also stated that he realized right away that the assailants were Golden Dawn and not anarchists from the way they looked and from their body type.

Last to take the floor was defense counsel Alexiadis. The witness didn’t know who Poulikogiannis left with, whether he was with Goutis or Sklavolias, and that he hasn’t heard anything beyond what he has testified. As for the video that contains the phrase “the abscess of PAME” the witness said that he had seen an excerpt on TV in August of 2013, but he said that he wasn’t sure and that he might have seen it on the internet.

At this point the presiding judge called to the stand the next witness on the list, M. Vaxevanis. The civil action counsels stated that the witness could not attend court due to a professional commitment. The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, in the Court of Appeals, when the aforementioned witness will be called to testify.