121st Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, January 26th, 2017
- 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 every audience seat in the courtroom is filled. Few journalists and spectators showed up in court today.
ΙΙ. Presence and representation of the defendants
Present at the start of the hearing were defendants Ioannis Kastrinos and Ioannis Komianos. Most of the other defendants were represented by their counsels.
III. Continuation of examination of witness Anastasios Lyrintzis
- Examination of the witness by the civil action counsels
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Zafeiriou the witness stated that he called the police to report the incident, and gave them his name. The witness went on to say that during the incident he noticed that some of the persons involved were holding wooden beams. Some of them were wearing wool caps, and he saw a few that had their heads shaved. He added that the persons he had seen earlier outside the Shipping Yards [:S/Y] were dressed normally. He testified that during the incident, with the patrol car present at the scene, these persons were shouting, swearing, and making obscene gestures. He also said that he saw a wounded man on the ground, and 4-5 people standing over him. Responding to another question the witness stated that he doesn’t know what an assault squad is, but he’s seen on TV an attack by members of Golden Dawn, who were smashing the stalls at a street market.
Responding to a question by civil action counsel Tzelis, the witness stated that there are cameras installed in municipal buses, which monitor the movement at the doors. At the time, the witness stopped the bus 50 m away from the scene of the incident. He went on to testify that it’s only natural that he got afraid and that he couldn’t drive the bus away from there. When the patrol car came the police officer restored the flow of traffic so that the bus could pass. There were people shouting from the left and others shouting from the right, and the policeman was shouting at them to let the bus pass. The policeman asked the witness to keep his eyes on him, so that the street could be freed and the bus could go on its way. At some point he asked one of the assailants what had happened and he said “We busted his head”. He did not testify this to the police out of fear. As he said earlier, right before he started the itinerary, he had seen a group of people near the end of the bus line, at the port of Perama, and that when he started the people he had seen earlier passed him by on motorbikes. Later in the itinerary, he once more passed them by, as they had stopped and parked their motorbikes. When these people arrived at the scene of the incident –there were more than 30 of them- the incident was already unfolding. The witness said that he didn’t say that to the police officer, since the only thing he was asked was to get back on the bus and get going.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Papadopoulou, the witness stated that the patrol car arrived 15-20 minutes after his call. He stated that he could tell who were the assailants and who were the victims and that he saw more people (these 30 persons that he mentioned earlier) joining the assailants. When asked by the civil action counsel who is the leader of Golden Dawn, the witness answered that it’s Michaloliakos.
Civil action counsel Zotos then took the floor. The witness clarified that the distance between the bus’s starting point and the gate to the S/Y is only 30-40 meters. That’s where he saw those 30 people. He was standing in the café that is right outside the gates, where the ships come in. They were all together when he saw them. They were walking up and down. When he started his itinerary he saw them again as he was driving the bus. They overtook the bus on their motorbikes. They went on to park their motorbikes 120-150 meters from the scene of the incident and the bus passed them by, and they were now on foot. As they were walking towards the scene of the attack, he heard them say, “There are few of them, let’s go and finish them”. These 30 people joined the group of the assailants and left when the patrol car arrived. The witness also testified that he saw poles being brandished.
Civil action counsel Kabagiannis was the next one to examine the witness. The witness stated that the people that he saw were 40-50 meters away from Café Beat and were visible from the S/Y. He also confirmed his preliminary testimony, that he saw people in black clothes, wearing helmets and carrying poles. He also said that when he said in his testimony that “they had them in the middle and were beating them”, he meant those same people. The second group of 30 people that arrived on the scene and joined the first group of assailants had some common characteristics with the latter, the helmets and wool caps, and the witness added that a few of them were carrying wooden clubs. The 30 people that headed to the mass of people and helped the outer ring of people by joining it, and when they saw the police these 20-30 people left. The persons holding poles stayed. The persons that left when they saw the patrol car weren’t carrying poles. Finally, the witness stated that he can’t recall any of the motorbikes’ license plates.
- Examination of the witness by the defense counsels
Responding to questions by defense counsel Tsagas the witness stated that he didn’t notice whether any of the assailants had a leading role.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Zografou the witness stated that he was at the scene of the incident for about 15 minutes and that he could only see the persons at the outer ring of the circle and that they were wearing dark clothes. He went on to say that he couldn’t be sure that the poles that he saw weren’t used by both sides, and also that he couldn’t have seen the ambulance even if it had come.
Defense counsel Velentza then asked the witness when was he called to testify and he stated that it must have been 20 days after the incident. At this point the presiding judge interjected that the witness’s preliminary testimony was made the day after the incident, as shown by the date it bears. The witness responded to another relevant question that he had mentioned the security cameras because he thought they called him to testify because they saw him in security footage. It didn’t occur to him that the police had his name from the call he had made to report the incident. The defense counsel then asked of the court to investigate the matter of the security cameras.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Papadelis the witness stated that the ferry leaves every 20 minutes from Perama to Salamina and that the 30 persons he saw were just sitting there, wearing normal clothes and holding nothing in their hands. He also testified that the first thing that came to mind when he arrived at the scene of the attack was that it was a fight between strikers and scabs and that he learned that Golden Dawn had been involved at 01:30 at night when he went to the bus depot and talked to colleagues that had passed from that spot.
Responding to questions by defense counsel G. Michalolias the witness stated that he was seeing a mass of people that resembled a circle with some people in the middle. He also said that some of the people that left when the patrol car arrived, were swearing and making obscene gestures as they were going away. At the police station he was shown about 1,000 photos. He was then shown a further four photos that were not included in the album.
Defense counsel Alexiadis then asked if the assailants had enough time to kill, if that was their intention. The witness stated that they had ample time to commit murder, and responding to another question he said that the assailants didn’t have deadly intent. At this point the presiding judge intervened to ask the witness how could he be so sure of his answer, and how could he tell from 50 m away what was the assailants’ intent and whether someone was holding a knife. The witness responded “oh, right”, and the presiding judge asked of the defense counsel to refrain from asking the witness questions of judgment.
- Comments on the witness testimonies by the counsels (for the case of the assault against the PAME members)
The first one to take the floor was civil action counsel Kabagiannis. In short, the counsel said that the hearing testimonies confirmed that there were people leading the attack. Poulikogiannis confirmed the attack’s double objective, against both PAME and KKE. The witnesses confirmed the existence of weapons. Weapons were found both at the scene of the attack and outside the offices of Golden Dawn. The attack was unprovoked. If their goal had been to cause bodily harm they would have stopped when a man fell on the ground. They had deadly intent. The assailants were aiming for the head. Pountidis was hit on the hand as he was trying to cover his head and Zymaris was hit on the elbow trying to cover his head. The parts they were aiming for prove the assailants’ deadly intent.
He went on to say that the court shouldn’t judge their intent by what the assailants didn’t achieve, but by the weapons they were carrying and by the way the attack was implemented. The assailants moved towards the scene of the attack in an organized fashion and left in the same way. The civil action counsel also stated that there is enough evidence to show how the organization operates. The organization’s modus operandi is the coordinated attack and departure. He went on to say that the perpetrator of the attacks is Golden Dawn. There is ample evidence that shows what happened before and after the attack.
MP’s Lagos, Panagiotaros, and Michos recorded their announcement that “the abscess of PAME and KKE will be stamped out”. The organization’s leading member Pantazis was present as the leader of the attack, according to the testimonies of the witnesses. He added that it is logical to assume that the attack was the implementation of the previous announcement. The civil action counsel spoke of an announcement made by the leadership and the implementation carried out by the members, about a leading group and about the duo of Pantazis and Lagos, who carry out the implementation as well. Weapons were used that had been prepared in advance especially for this attack, something that shows that the crime had been planned in advance. Pantazis was the leader of the local chapter, one of the leading members of the organization, but also the leader of the attack. The presence of policemen is a part of the organization’s modus operandi.
At this point the presiding judge adjourned for Wednesday, February 1st, 2017, at 09:00, in the Women’s Wing of Korydallos Prison.