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DAY 64: “I’M ONE OF YOU, I’M GOLDEN DAWN”

64th Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, June 3rd, 2016

 

1. 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.

2. Presence and representation of the defendants

Present at the start of the proceedings were 2 defendants. (Komianos and Stabelos). Thirty-six (36) defendants were represented by their counsels, and the rest were recorded as absent.

3. Proceedings

The hearing commenced with requests by the counsels. The newly appointed defense counsel for Aggos asked for a second counsel to be appointed for her client and the presiding judge rejected the request.

The testimony of witness Biagis, a police officer, was supposed to begin, but the witness did not show up in court. The next witness was called to the stand, Nikolaos Dafos, another police officer, and the hearing proceeded with his testimony. After Ms. Markou, the defense counsel for Aggos, submitted once more her request for the appointment of a second counsel, the presiding judge appointed a second counsel from the list of counsels to be appointed by the court, who is required to be present in the next hearing.

4. Witness testimony of Nikolaos Dafos

Responding to questions by the presiding judge witness Dafos testified that on the night in question he was on shift as the driver of a patrol car with Kourentzis as his partner, and they received a signal on 23:55 to proceed to Tsaldari St. to reinforce the DIAS squad already there, who was communicating on a different channel, which they didn’t have access to. In Tsaldari Street they found the pavements packed with people, curious onlookers who were watching the outcome of an incident, a wounded person, and a few officers of the DIAS squad. The wounded person was still alive when some people arrived, relatives or friends, who gave him first aid. 8 officers from the DIAS squad were running checks on some persons or were questioning passersby. The witness stated that he went to three of his colleagues from the DIAS squad, who pointed to a grey car and told him that the person sitting inside was involved in the incident. The witness couldn’t see who he was speaking to because the officer was wearing a helmet. The witness along with Kourentzis, his partner, went to the car which had its engine and headlights turned on and was parked diagonally across the street. They noticed a knife next to one of the wheels of the car and asked the driver to step out of the car. They handcuffed him, picked up the knife, and secured it in an evidence bag. No one stopped them, and the arrested man did not react.

On the way to the Police Station, in the patrol car, the man they had arrested told them that he did it, because earlier they were harassing his friends, and when asked about it he said “I’m one of you, I’m Golden Dawn”. The witness and his partner, Kourentzis, notified HQ that they shouldn’t be looking for soccer fans and that Golden Dawn was involved. They took the arrested man to the Police Station and went back to the scene of the crime, they were away for about half an hour, and they started looking for people that were dressed in the Golden Dawn mode of dress, but they didn’t find anyone to bring in for questioning, because they were late, according to the witness the window of opportunity is the time frame about 5-10 minutes after the incident.

The witness testified that he had supervised a Golden Dawn event on one of the anniversaries of Imia, in 1999 or 2000. He doesn’t know what is the position of Roupakias in Golden Dawn, he only knows what the perpetrator said. Concerning Golden Dawn in general the things he knows about the attack on PAME is what was reported in the media, and about the assault squads from what he’s seen on the TV. He also knows about the attack on the basement mosque in Kaminia. The Pakistanis there told them that the t-shirts worn by the attackers were emblazoned with the words “Golden Dawn”, he knows that they went in holding crowbars and smoke bombs, in 2011 and 2012, they trashed the place and left, all in the space of a few minutes. As for Kourentzis, the witness testified that he was transferred and that they aren’t working together anymore, and he knows that Kourentzis received threats, but the witness has not been threatened. Responding to questions by the deputy state prosecutor the witness testified that HQ has received many signals about violent incidents involving Golden Dawn, while for the incident concerning Roupakias he said that in his opinion a clash is when two groups get into a fight. As for the mosque, where he was present, it was an assault. At this point in the testimony the defense erupted in protest and the court called for a short recess.

The presiding judge then made a few clarifications about the use of the term “assault squad”  contained in the charge of criminal organization.

Responding to questions by members of the court witness Dafos testified that he has spoken about the mosque incident in his preliminary testimony, that the attackers had crowbars and clubs and caused damage to the premises and that he doesn’t know whether the DIAS officers had noticed the knife, but it was him and his partner that collected it.

Responding to questions by civil action counsel Tzellis the witness testified that he didn’t ask his colleagues in the DIAS squad why they didn’t handcuff Roupakias, that when the latter said “I’m one of you”, the witness thought he meant he was a fan of Panathinaikos F.C.

Responding to questions by civil action counsel Kougiatsou, Papadopoulou, and Tobatzoglou, he stated that he doesn’t know whether the ambulance had already been called when he arrived on the scene, that Roupakias was handcuffed by Kourentzis, that he’s not certain what code 2610 stands for because there are many different codes, it could be a code for attacks against immigrants. He also said that Kourentzis was transferred about a year later, that the first thing he saw on the scene were the headlights of the perpetrator’s car, which was parked the wrong way. He stated that he didn’t have time to ask many questions in the patrol car, because it was a short distance [:to the police station], about 300 meters, that he reported verbally to the officer on duty for handing over Roupakias, and that he would personally attribute the threats received by Kourentzis to Golden Dawn.

When civil action counsel Zotos attempted to question the witness about the assault on the mosque, defense counsel objected forcefully interrupting the process.

Responding to questions by civil action counsel Kabagiannis about why the DIAS police officers stated that Roupakias was already handcuffed, the witness stated that he doesn’t know and that when they found him, he wasn’t in handcuffs, that they didn’t receive a commendation, that they never discussed the arrest, but that the perpetrator was pointed to them and he confessed his crime. They didn’t arrest the perpetrator, they just put him in handcuffs.

Responding to questions by civil action counsel Sapountzakis if it seems natural for someone to sit and have a smoke after killing someone, the witness didn’t answer, and defense counsels Papadelis and Velentza interjected that it is natural and that he will be judged by the court. Responding to a question by the same civil action counsel concerning the attack on PAME he stated that he was present at the incident and from what he’s heard on the media it was an assault. He also said that he doesn’t know who threatened Kourentzis but he remembers that they told him “when winter comes, your feet will be in pain”.

Responding to questions by civil action counsel Malagaris he stated that the signal concerned people with close-cropped hair wearing black t-shirts, a mode of dress that he encountered in the mosque attack, where the attackers were carrying smoke bombs and wooden clubs.

Responding to questions by civil action counsels Stratis and Malagaris he stated that the immigrants are the targeted by Golden Dawn because the latter has a nationalistic ideology.

Responding to questions by civil action counsels Vrettos and Theodoropoulos the witness stated that he doesn’t know why more reinforcements weren’t called during the attack on PAME, since he wasn’t on shift that day and during the Piraeus incident he was on leave because of the immigrant issue, that he has never worked in an office and he doesn’t know how they treat the perpetrator of a stabbing, that he has never been trained in crawling painted with camo face paint, because he entered the police force through the university examinations when he was 17 years old. When asked how is target practice done and who else can participate, the defense erupted in protest and the witness answered that he believes that target practice is done with assault rifles.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Markou, he stated that he was the responder to a complaint about a Golden Dawn attack on an immigrant. Responding to questions by defense counsel Oplantzakis he stated that he advised Kourentzis to press charges about the threats he received, but he doesn’t know how it went, he does know that Kourentzis talked with a lawyer. Roupakias said “I’m one of you”, not “we’re with you”, that there are no similarities between the anarchists’ and Golden Dawn’s mode of dress, that anarchists don’t wear camo pants, and defense counsel Oplantzakis stated that he will submit a written motion to cross-examine the witness against the DIAS police officers.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Velentza he stated that the knife was collected by Kourentzis, that he was wearing gloves, because the witness himself gave them to him, that they handed the knife over to the officer on duty, that when they got there Fyssas was still moving his body and mouth.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Tsagas if what Roupakias said in the patrol car is true, the witness stated that he will not answer the question because from what he understands he is questioned about his political beliefs, and he also said that he doesn’t know whether the Imia event was attended by a military unit.

Responding to a question by defense counsel Mavroeidis he stated that he doesn’t recognize defendant Stabelos, and responding to a question by defense counsel Papadelis he stated that if he saw people in ranks four wide coming toward him, he would get scared, and that he doesn’t know the progress of the other cases for which the civil action questioned him.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Michalolias he stated that in all his time serving with Kourentzis he didn’t ever caught him lying or acting in a reprehensible fashion. That he did say that the members of Golden Dawn are dressed in the mode he described, that he wasn’t in time on the scene of the crime to see people dressed like that, that he never reported anything about a fight, that he reported exactly what the signal says. He worked with Kourentzis from that day and for one month and the threats against Kourentzis started a little before his testimony, and they told him that “your legs will be in pain when the weather changes”.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Oplantzakis the witness testified that after the assault on the mosque by Golden Dawn he went down to the mosque himself which smelled of smoke bomb.

The presiding judge adjourned for Thursday, June 9th, 2016, at 09:00.

This hearing was the first after January in which the process was normally resumed, with a witness testimony, and without dealing with procedural matters and appointments of new lawyers.

 

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