122nd Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, February 1st, 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 limited attendance by the public, but significant presence of members of the press.
- Presence and representation of the defendants
Present at the start of the hearing was Ioannis Kastrinos, a defendant in the case of the attack against the PAME members.
The hearing commenced with the comments on the witness testimonies by the civil action and defense counsels (for the case of the assault against the PAME members).
ΙV. Comments by the civil action counsels concerning the witness testimonies
Civil action counsel Malagaris pointed out that it was the first time in a trial which has been going on for two years that it was acknowledged that this was an attack carried out by Golden Dawners. He demonstrated that the leadership had full knowledge, as was shown by the text messages of Lagos, and pointed out that all the witness testimonies mention the same characteristics concerning the assailants, which, when compared to the other two attacks, point to the fact that we are indeed dealing with assault squads, judging by appearances alone. The wounds on the victims’ bodies and the damage inflicted on the cars constitute an adequate body of evidence to prove the truthfulness of the testimonies as regards the assailants’ weapons. Patelis’ cellphone and the text messages sent by Lagos are in point of fact the “clock” that timed the attack, whose duration does not exceed 4 minutes.
As for the discipline of the assault squad, the civil action counsel mentioned that it can be evinced by the members’ response to the call on the night in question. The counsel went on to say that it was proved that both the assailants and the leadership knew about the existence of a possible casualty, and he cited what one of the assailants told Lyrintzis, “We busted open his head”, but also the text message by Lagos which reads “Poulikogiannis was there lying on his back”. The counsel considered that the deadly intent of the assailants was self-evident, by the fact that they had their faces uncovered, both in this assault and in the murder of Fyssas, and stressed that what must be investigated is where do they find the nerve to murder with their faces visible, and not whether or not there was deadly intent, whose objective was not attained, because Poulikogiannis took the first hit and had no time to react, and the rest tried to defend themselves, and also because of the layout of the scene of the attack, since the victims tried to cower between their cars.
He also talked about the immunity granted to Golden Dawn by the police, since Golden Dawn’s members felt they weren’t going to be prosecuted. He supported that Golden Dawn’s true politics is exactly these assaults, making use of the assault squads, the insults, and the humiliation of their opponents. They murder and swear in groups, never alone. The counsel spoke about the advance announcement, the leadership, and the close monitoring of the assault’s unfolding, as was shown by the text messages, and also mentioned the text message sent by Michaloliakos the afternoon of the following day, which read “bless their hands”, and referred to the statement, also by Michaloliakos, “you’ll see what it means to sharpen bayonets on the sidewalks”, and said that it’s either prophetic, poetic, or real.
Civil action counsel Sapountzakis stressed that the witness testimonies combined, as well as their similarities, show the unfolding of the events and the deadly intent of the assailants. Every witness talked about an unprovoked and perfectly executed ambush. Every witness mentioned that the assailants were armed with crowbars, wooden beams, and custom-made weaponry, and were wearing black wool caps, in September. Special mention was made to the testimony of the terrified witness Lyrintzis, who had to be brought by force to testify, and who said that “some people were going in and others were going out”, something which shows that there was a plan laid out for the attack, and that it was a battle with reserve “units”. He stressed the deadly intent, shown by the fact that the assailants introduced themselves and asked for Poulikogiannis, because they didn’t want him to be able to defend himself, and they attacked him without any provocation, and later he was lying unconscious on the ground. He stated that they had limited time, something which was shown by the command to end the attack, which also points to the coordination and the planning of the attack, which aimed to physically eliminate the union members. It was mentioned by everyone that the assailants were both more numerous and armed. He pointed out that the charge is attempted murder, and that 9 wounded out of 20 is a huge percentage. The assailants believed they had murdered the leader. He also referred to the text message sent by Lagos to Develegos which read “man, we fucked them up, we butchered them”, stressing that the word “butchered” doesn’t mean just murder, but elimination. They attacked with fury and intended to kill, according to witness Goutis.
Civil action counsel Stratis then took the floor and said that all the streets perpendicular to the street where the attack took place were dead ends and lead to closed hatches and shipping yards, and there was no avenue of escape. Also that the assault squad had the advantage of numbers, which was shown by what they said to the bus driver “they’re fewer than us, let’s finish them”. Therefore, it is evident that this was no fight, but an attack with deadly intent, as shown by the witness testimonies of Tiliakos and Zymaris, who repeated the assailants’ words “You’re finished here. This will be your grave, we’ll kill you”. The defendants weren’t moved to commit crimes by personal motives, but rather as members of a criminal organization, since the decision to attack was taken by the leadership of Golden Dawn.
Civil action counsel Antanasiotis stressed that the motive of the attack was a purely political one. They wanted to kill two birds with one stone. Given that the victims were both members of the union and members of PAME, many people could have been terrified and become restrained, something that would result in a decrease of the union members’ fighting spirit. He also stated that the motive of the attack had a financial component, since the Shipping Yards’ bosses saw Golden Dawn as their savior in their ongoing campaign to damage the labor union. It had all been planned in advance, and the attack was not completely unexpected. The attack had been announced in advance by Lagos and other MP’s a month earlier, as well as by the founding of a “slave labor” and racist union. He also said that Lagos also spoke with Develegos, who is Michaloliakos’ chauffeur and a member of the central committee. At the same time the counsel lambasted the stance of the police, which conducted no searches and made no arrests, no arrests on the part of the police, something which bolsters and emboldens the criminal activity of Golden Dawn, since they know that they are being tolerated by important factions within the police.
Civil action counsel Zafeiriou noted that Poulikogiannis’ would-be executioners were not acquainted with him, but had taken on the role of assailants, regardless. She insisted that we are not investigating whether they attained their objective, it’s attempted murder according to the letter of law. Referring to the trade union, she called it “slave labor”, citing the testimony of Poulikogiannis, who said that the rendering of services such as these can only be done for something in exchange as well as to bring in votes. She described Golden Dawn’s modus operandi, whose members invariably state who they are, are always armed and more numerous than their victims, act within a short time frame, and when they can’t sate their rage, they damage stationary objects. Their slogans and tattoos are of Nazi origin and their crimes are based in the ideology of Nazism, which is common to all, since even MP’s participate in the assault squads. She went on to mention that if the leadership did not approve of these actions, they would have condemned them. Instead, there is an ongoing attempt at a cover-up. She also stressed that this court has not been convened to judge the ideology. These crimes are the result of the ideology of Nazism, which has been espoused by Golden Dawn throughout its course, since 1987 when its declaration was circulated, which mentioned untermenschen and nationalism-socialism, and until today continues to refer to the trash of the earth. The actions are driven by political and ideological motives.
Civil action counsel Vrettos then mentioned that the witnesses testified about things they had experienced. The criminal actions constitute the crime of attempted murder, since we already have the time frame in which the attack unfolded and the means that were used, which according to law are considered weapons, and they demanded time and craftsmanship to make them, and existed before the attack took place. This is the evidence that points that all three attacks had a specific duration, start, end, and results. The fact that the objective of the deadly intent was not attained does not invalidate either the deceit or the knowledge. He also mentioned that the assault squads always include a leading member of Golden Dawn, and concerning the involvement of Golden Dawn in the S/Y, he mentioned that they wanted to interfere with the union members in order to dismantle the union, and they [:the Golden Dawn] were rewarded for their actions by the bosses by the hiring of the defendants for the cases under trial.
Civil action counsel Theodoropoulos mentioned that both policemen testified that the object [:they found] is a murder weapon and that its wielder knows that it can cause harm. The counsel also referred, caustically, to the testimony of the officer on duty, and repeated that the investigation report was written 22 hours later, leaving ample time to spirit away any found objects. He also did not rule out the possibility of insider information, since there is a policeman among the defendants. He supported that every charge included in the indictment has been proven, since witness Lyrintzis described in detail the person that told him “We busted open his head”. The counsel maintained that terrorism is not only the tool used by Golden Dawn, but also its message, since they are interested in the public use of violence. Until then [:the period that the attack took place] they had the sense of procedural immunity, as there were 32 separate case files that were not being pursued, and they were suddenly reopened, after the murder of Fyssas.
The civil action counsels for Fyssas pointed out the common characteristics of all three cases, and the total relinquishment of the will of the persons participating in the assault squads to the mandates of the organization, since the perpetrators aren’t necessarily acquainted with their victims. The above illustrates the criminal element of this organization, which undertakes contract killings and that’s why none of us should feel safe. The random events that happened in the attack against PAME were not repeated in the attack against Fyssas, and that’s how the knife was drawn. Not one damning statement followed the attack [:against the PAME members] and that’s how we arrived at the murder of Pavlos [:Fyssas].
The civil actions counsels for the Egyptian fishermen stressed that the witness testimonies showed that the attack had been planned in advance and that on the night in question the plan was realized, since the planning phase had already been put in motion since 2012. They stressed that no public announcements were made from either side concerning the meeting with the [:S/Y] bosses. He stressed that a similar amount of planning and assault tactics was implemented in the attack against the Egyptian fishermen, and there was an open line connecting them with the leadership of Golden Dawn, as was shown by the text messages, however the case against the fishermen did not result in the lifting of telecommunications secrecy. In conclusion it was supported that the assault squads and Golden Dawn are one and the same, and it was stressed that no attacks would have been carried out if there was no Golden Dawn. The witnesses said that the assault squad was in effect the local chapter of Golden Dawn, as was the case with the attack against the Egyptian fishermen. They [:Golden Dawn] are a constant threat to everyone, because they attack everyone that is of a different opinion.
- Comments by the defense counsels concerning the witness testimonies
The defense counsels stated that the witnesses expressed their partisan and class rage. Specifically, defense counsel Roussopoulos inveighed against Poulikogiannis, calling him a professional unionizer, who was taking selfies in the ambulance. The defense counsel maintained that it was a fight between two groups who were trading insults and blows and that the testimony of Lyrintzis clearly supports this version of events. Finally, he referred to questions by the civil action that concern sensitive personal information and racist remarks, and requested to investigate the footage from the security cameras that the bus driver mentioned.