118th Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, January 20th, 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. There was reduced public attendance, but there were members of the press present at the hearing. The microphones weren’t working for the entire duration of the hearing. The air-conditioning was blowing cold air and the courtroom was freezing throughout the hearing.
- Presence and representation of the defendants
Present at the hearing was one (1) defendant, I. Kastrinos.
ΙΙΙ. Proceedings – Examination of requests
The hearing commenced with the continuation and conclusion of the testimony by witness Kardamis, and the examination of witnesses Panagiotidis and Paraschos.
- Continuation of testimony of witness Kardamis
Responding to questions by the deputy state prosecutor and the civil action counsels, the witness stated that he was the one to spot the object, he pulled it out, and it was then that his commanding officer saw it. The Police Colonel at the Perama Police Station at the time was Charilaos Tsatsaris. Responding to questions from civil action counsel Malagaris the witness stated that the object is similar to the one depicted in the photographs he was shown by the aforementioned counsel, but it differed as to the shape of the attached metal piece, that he had no way of knowing that at that time there were weapons in the Golden Dawn offices or that there was an attack that had been planned, because these things were not in his jurisdiction, that he got the impression that the wooden pole was used as a flagpole, because that would explain the staples, that he confiscated the object, because he heard that something like it with a metal hook at the end had been used in the attack, that despite the fact that one of its protrusions was turned towards the wall, it could have been something that was propping up the air-conditioning unit. Responding to questions from civil action counsel Zafeiriou he stated that the object had been placed in such a way that someone could have hidden it, that he doesn’t know why the Golden Dawn offices were closed on that day, neither does he know anything about fingerprints or the progress of the case. The protest march did not pass through the street of the Golden Dawn offices.
Responding to questions from civil action counsel Theodoropoulos he answered that this object cannot be bought in a store and that it must be custom-made, that if someone uses it to hit a person then it stands to reason that he understands that he could kill him, that in the photo he can see that the object is dented, as if it has been bashed against an angular surface, he doesn’t know if a mosque was attacked, but he does know that after the attack on PAME the police force was put on alert. He reported that he doesn’t know whether the victims have identified the object that he found, and that he would prefer to present his opinion on the Fyssas murder after the Court has reached its decision.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Kabagiannis he stated that he sees no logic in storing the object that he found in the place that he found it, that the Golden Dawn offices are 2 km away from the scene of the attack, and that it’s 5 minutes, at most, by motorbike, there was no claim about the members of KKE assaulting another person, quite the contrary, they [:the Golden Dawners] went there to assault the members of KKE.
Responding to questions from civil action counsel Tzelis the witness stated that he went to the scene of the Fyssas murder the day after the crime, and that he has heard that he was murdered by Roupakias, a member of Golden Dawn. He has heard about the assault squads on TV.
Responding to questions by defense counsel G. Michalolias, he answered that he has been serving in the police force for 32 years, that they had been ordered to station a number of policemen outside the Golden Dawn offices to prevent an attack, he doesn’t know if anything took place outside the offices, that he turned over the object to a police officer from the special branches, that they conducted a search in the Golden Dawn offices that night, that it’s one thing to hide a weapon so that they can use it again and quite another to try to get rid of it, and that if someone is hit with the metal end, no one knows what will happen.
Responding to questions from defense counsel Papadelis he stated that if the object strikes someone it will obviously gather some body tissue, but he doesn’t know the specifics. The preliminary testimonies concerned the attack, he doesn’t know about specific counts.
Responding to questions from defense counsel Velentza he stated that on demos that are scheduled for 17:00 in the afternoon people start to gather at 16:00, that if someone wanted to use again the object he would hide it where the witness found it, or else he would have thrown it in any other random place.
- Testimony of witness Panagiotidis
The witness stated that he has held the rank of Police Colonel since 2012. On the day in question he had been assigned to protect the Golden Dawn offices of the local chapter [: Perama]. When a party organizes a protest march, a rally etc. and there are offices from a rival party in the scheduled route, it is routine procedure to have them guarded. The KKE organized a protest march, because there had been an incident between members of Golden Dawn and KKE, in response to the putting up of posters. Kardamis found the object after he received the standard order given on similar occasions, to search the area. The object had been concealed outside the Golden Dawn offices, placed between the external air-conditioning unit and the wall. The object was later measured to have a length of 1,20 m, and very conspicuous, that’s why they noticed it, it had no place to be where it was. It was a wooden pole with two metal rings one on top of the other. The metal clutch and a metal piece at the end protruded. Many people use such poles in protest marches, to wave flags, but they are also used in assaults. They are weapons, if someone is hit with one of these on the head he will be killed. They took it to the Perama Police Station, State Prosecutor Maragaki had already been notified to commence the preliminary investigation, then it was time to search the offices of the local chapter, a locksmith had to be called. Then it should have been photographed and sent to the Forensic Science Division (FSD). When the witness was shown photographs of the object he said that it’s not the same, it’s similar, but it might just be the photo that is confusing him. He didn’t see if the object was dented, the important thing would be to hit someone with the metal piece at the end, it had marks as if from a staple gun. He wasn’t present in the search of the offices, he learned that they found nothing that could have been used as a weapon.
Responding to questions from the state prosecutor the witness stated that someone could have placed it there to incriminate someone else, that the leader of the Perama chapter is Lagos and that the object should have been sent to the FSD. Responding to questions from the Deputy State Prosecutor he stated that he has back pain because he got into a scuffle with the Golden Dawners in the school in Perama, that if someone is hit with this weapon then he will be killed, whoever uses it means to at least inflict grievous bodily harm, that the witness knows nothing about the activity of Golden Dawn chapters, that he immediately noticed the metal piece, that if someone had used it then he would have thrown it away and would not have put it there. The incident took place during a poster action by the PAME, the Golden Dawners don’t put up posters, they were the ones to attack. Responding to questions by the court the witness stated that the object in the photos is not the same with the one they found and that he heard that when they searched the offices MP Lagos showed up and railed at the State Prosecutor.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Theodoropoulos, the witness stated that a witness can identify the object if they see someone using it to bash cars, that State Security arrived in the evening, that he would notice the metal piece from afar if his attention was focused, that evidence such as this needs to be examined to glean information about what’s on it.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Malagaris he answered that it’s not unheard of for someone to use the same weapon, that the media say that the police does nothing, but that he has been injured by Golden Dawners.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Stratis, he stated that since he went on duty at the protest march no one approached the offices or the air-conditioning unit, and that concerning the attack he knows that the assailants wore the insignia of Golden Dawn, as well as black shirts and army boots.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Zafeiriou he stated that he will not comment on the Golden Dawn’s denial that the police was there to protect its offices, that both far-right and far-left groups use metal spikes, and that the Golden Dawn local chapter is always closed.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Kabagiannis the witness stated that the object can easily be transported on a motorbike, that he has not been notified of any claim that the members of KKE assaulted members of Golden Dawn, that it’s not unheard of someone who has used a knife as a weapon to carry it on his person.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Skarmeas he answered that in his experience a perpetrator will wipe his weapon of blood, tissue, etc.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Tzelis the witness stated that the Golden Dawners knew that their offices were being guarded, that the object looked like it was used to support something else, but it wasn’t, that he has heard of the Fyssas murder from the press, and that he also heard that Roupakias was a member of Golden Dawn.
Responding to questions by defense counsel G. Michalolias, the witness stated that before they showed up, the offices were guarded by patrols, and that he heard that the object was 1,20 m long.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Velentza he stated that they had no gloves to transfer the object, and that they immediately handed it over.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Triantafylloudis he stated that he has seen numerous clashes related to poster actions, that he knows nothing about the incident apart from what he’s read in the press, and that he is not acquainted with Pantazis.
- Testimony of witness Paraschos
The witness testified, interrupted by questions by the court, that he is a policeman in Perama since 2004, that on the night in question he was on duty from 13:00 until 23:00, he couldn’t remember who was the officer on duty, after 23:00 it is the officer of the Investigative Division. On the night in question the phone rang, the witness was the one to answer it, it was a male, Greek, about 30 years old, who told him that he’s living near the offices of the local chapter of Golden Dawn and that right then he was seeing someone placing a pole behind the air-conditioning unit. The phone call was made at 7, 8, or 9, he can’t remember exactly, the man that phoned him didn’t give a name and his phone number was not displayed. The colonel was there, he informed his superiors, and they went to check if there was any basis to the anonymous tip.
The presiding judge asked the witness whether he has already testified these things in his previous testimony, and when she asked him again, he once more answered affirmatively, that on the phone he was told that they saw someone placing a pole outside the Golden Dawn offices.
Responding to questions by the presiding judge, the witness answered that the incident between Golden Dawn and PAME had taken place on the previous night and he speculates that the call had something to do with it. The presiding judge pointed out to the witness that his previous testimony tells an entirely different story, and the witness stated that he was the one that picked up the phone and he should know. After repeated questions by the presiding judge, she read aloud his preliminary testimony, in which the witness had stated that in the phone call he answered at about 3 in the morning, after the incident in Perama, he had been told that they saw people with black shirts that had participated in the incident go into the Golden Dawn offices and leaving wooden beams, clubs, and other objects, and the witness confirmed it was so. The witness, frequently interrupted by the court for further questions, went on to state that he learned about the pole from his colleagues, that he said the same things in the hearing and in his first testimony, and the only discrepancy was the air-conditioning unit, that he did not speak with the previous witnesses before his testimony, that he knows few things about the search in the offices and about the altercation between the State Prosecutor and Lagos, but he believes that the investigation was obstructed.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Sapountzakis, the witness stated that he wasn’t pressured by his superiors to change his testimony, and that there aren’t any glaring contradictions with his preliminary testimony, and that he can’t remember exactly what he did two years ago.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Theodoropoulos he answered that his earlier testimony was the one he gave to his colleagues, that there was a rumor in Perama that a pole had been placed in the air-conditioning unit, he heard about the pole from rumors, he knows nothing about the results of the search in the offices.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Antanasiotis the witness stated that no one told him anything about a pole in the phone call, and to civil action counsel Zafeiriou he answered that they didn’t tell him about members of Golden Dawn but about people in general. The witness’s answers prompted the presiding judge to ask him whether he understands what he is testifying or if he is feeling disoriented.
Responding to further questions by civil action counsel Zafeiriou the witness stated that the man on the phone told him that they had gone inside the offices of Golden Dawn.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Kabagiannis the witness stated that it wasn’t him who fielded the call about an assault of members of PAME on members of Golden Dawn.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Tzelis he stated that the phone rang at 22:20 and that there were other officers and policemen in the office with him, that the incident at the search was a verbal assault and it was started by Lagos.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Triantafylloudis, which were interrupted by questions by the presiding judge, the witness stated that no weapons were found in the offices, that the police cars are well known in the area, that they have never found guns on Golden Dawn members, that Pantazis is obliged to present himself regularly in the police precinct, that he is 40 years old and has a balloon shop, that Pantazis reports to the officer on duty for incidents concerning Golden Dawn.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Gavelas the witness stated that Pantazis showed up to the police station just for this one accusation, and that he doesn’t know why a search was conducted about wooden poles or clubs.
Responding to questions by defense counsel G. Michalolias the witness stated that officers from State Security were with him, that the person on the phone was 30-35 and that he didn’t hear what his superiors were going to do next. Tsarouchas would know about the phone, because all his colleagues work in office positions, and that when the police says “from collected information”, they mean from specific sources.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Velentza the witness stated that he didn’t ask the man in Perama nothing else apart from his name, that no one helped him shape his testimony, and to defense counsel Papadelis he answered that the state prosecutor was not present when he received the phone call, and that he doesn’t know why Kardamis and Panagiotidis say that she was, that before the phone call the decision to search the offices had not yet been taken.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Roussopoulos the witness stated that a verbal altercation took place between the state prosecutor and Lagos as they were entering the Golden Dawn offices, that he doesn’t know if the police employed the services of a locksmith, and responding to questions by defense counsel Alexiadis he stated that he doesn’t know whether Golden Dawn had been notified in advance about the search.
The presiding judge adjourned for Tuesday, January 24th, 2017, at 09:00, in the Court of Appeals.