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DAY 117: “THE NEXT ONE IS FOR YOUR HEAD”

117th Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, January 19th, 2017

 

  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, until all audience seats in the courtroom are filled. Few journalists and spectators showed up to court today.

ΙΙ. Presence and representation of the defendants

Present at the start of the hearing was defendant Ioannis Kastrinos. Most of the rest of the defendants were represented by their counsels.

III. Continuation of testimony of witness and plaintiff Iordanis Pountidis 

  1. Examination of the witness by the defense counsels

The defense counsel for defendant Kastrinos took the floor. Responding to questions by defense counsel Anastasopoulou the witness stated that he identified her principal at the scene of the attack. He tentatively identified him during his preliminary testimony, because the photograph he was shown was a grainy one taken from a newspaper. The witness then pointed at defendant Kastrinos and said that he is certain that this man is the one that he tentatively identified in his preliminary testimony. He added that the defendant was in the front row on the night of the attack and that of course he was holding something [:a weapon], since every assailant except the two he has already named were carrying weapons. Responding to another question by the defense counsel the witness stated that he didn’t see her principal hit anyone because as soon as the attack commenced he put his hands up to protect his head and he couldn’t see who it was that the defendant hit. 

Defense counsel Tsagas then took the floor. Responding to a question by the defense counsel the witness stated that Baxevanis had serious wounds, he had been hit dozens of times and the witness later saw that his whole back was bruised. Responding to another question by the defense counsel the witness stated that Baxevanis didn’t get sick leave because he was unemployed, but in general workers in the Shipping Yards are under temporary work contracts. When their contract ends and they are once again unemployed, but healthy, they go to the S/Y every day to find work and sign a new work contract.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Oplantzakis the witness stated that [:on the night of the attack] he could see, discern, and understand what was happening despite the low lighting conditions. The wooden beams were white and visible in the dark. Concerning the metal spikes, the victims felt them on their heads, and the witness also saw with his own two eyes a wooden beam with a nail at the end as well as a sharp blade at the end of another wooden beam. The witness added that apart from the brawny men at the front, there were more at the back carrying rocks. These rocks were sharp and weighed about 2-3 kilos each. The rocks were of a kind that couldn’t be found in the neighborhood (or at the scene of the attack), they were rocks that the assailants had brought with them from at least 350 m away. The witness said that these rocks were chosen by the assailants to inflict maximum (and therefore murderous) harm. Responding to another question the witness stated that the assailants knew Poulikogiannis and that the attack had been orchestrated by the Golden Dawn leadership.

Defense counsel Velentza then took the floor. The witness stated that he did not visit a forensic surgeon. He was x-rayed in the hospital. He had contusion wounds and dizziness for which he was prescribed pills, and they gave him an ointment for his wounds. Responding to another question the witness stated that there are no discarded pieces of wood in the shipyard. There were no discarded objects at the scene of the attack that could have been used as weapons. The witness went on to say that after the attack some of the weapons used by the assailants were found on the scene, and that one such weapon was also found in the Golden Dawn offices the following day. He stated that he heard the policeman in the patrol car that arrived on the scene giving orders to restore traffic flow before the ambulance had time to leave for the hospital. 

 Responding to questions by defense counsel G. Michalolias, the witness stated that he considers the phrase “We must do away with the abscess of PAME” a direct threat, but apart from that, the union has received dozens of threatening and anonymous phone calls, and the witness has also received a letter with no return address, which contained a bullet and a note saying “the next one is for your head”. Responding to another question by the defense counsel about whether he considers divisive another union that is interested in the problems of the S/Y, the witness stated that the Kyritsopoulos union (a S/Y boss) is divisive, because they claim that worker wages are too high and they must be lowered. The witness went on to say that the criminal activity of Golden Dawn members is directly connected to the Nazi beliefs of Golden Dawn and that their parliamentary presence is merely a pretext, and that just the previous day, in front of the witness’s sister-in-law, Golden Dawn members punched people outside a school in the area of Ikonio in Perama.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Alexiadis the witness stated that at the time of the attack they couldn’t get away, neither could they get into their cars and leave since none of his comrades would ever run over people in order to escape. Responding to another question by the defense counsel, about why the assailants didn’t leave right away after they had supposedly achieved their objective of murdering Poulikogiannis, the witness stated that it is clear they wanted to kill more people.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Roussopoulos concerning the reason why the assailants didn’t hit Sklavolias, the witness stated that there was a section of pavement behind the car, but to the right and left there were Golden Dawners, and Sklavolias couldn’t get away, but he could have hidden behind the car, and the witness thinks they didn’t see him. Responding to more questions about Lagos’ visit to the S/Y the witness stated that the S/Y is protected by the coastal guards and that Lagos with his people got into the S/Y secretly and that he had an audience of about 7 people.

Responding to questions by defense counsel Papadelis concerning the Golden Dawners’ procedural immunity the witness answered that the whole of Perama knows that the Golden Dawn leaders of the local chapter have connections with the police and that there are Pakistanis that have been stabbed but no one was ever arrested. The witness went on to stated that the Golden Dawn’s modus operandi can be gleaned from the speeches that are contained in the case file, which show Pappas, Panagiotaros etc. say that they are obliged to follow orders by the head of the local chapter, who follows orders by the District Commander, who follows the orders of the leader of Golden Dawn. When asked by the defense counsel to name one work contract or one boss that cooperated with Golden Dawn to lower the wages, the witness named Pyrinis as well as a work contract that was signed by 13 people.

The defense counsel for Pantazis then asked the witness whether he has similar accusations against her principals, Alexopoulos and Boukouras. The witness said that he has seen videos that show Boukouras as the leader of the incidents that took place in Korinthos, to prevent immigrants from going into a camp there.

  1. Witness testimony of Eleftherios Kardamis, policeman 

The witness testified that on the day after the attack against the PAME members, a march took place to protest the attack. It was a peaceful march that was slated to pass outside the offices of the Perama chapter of Golden Dawn. The witness testified that he found next to the air-conditioning unit that was screwed to the exterior of the Golden Dawn’s Perama headquarters a wooden pole with a metal hook welded at its end. The object, which had staples embedded by a staple gun, could have been used as a flag pole.

Responding to questions by the presiding judge the witness stated that the object had dents and had obviously seen heavy use. The witness took it because as he said the previous day they had found similar objects at the scene of the attack. 

Responding to questions by the deputy state prosecutor the witness stated that if someone was to be hit by this object on the head, he would be dead, and that the witness collected it because it was a dangerous object. He went on to say that someone must have left the object there trying to get rid of it, and that he doesn’t believe that it was planted to incriminate Golden Dawn, since in that case the metal hook would not be hidden at the bottom, but would have been placed in a way that would have made it more visible. He also said that during his service in the police force he’s seen many times flagpoles being used as weapons to inflict damage.

At this point the presiding judge adjourned for Friday, January 20th, 2017, at 09:00.