124th Hearing, Court of Appeals, February 7th, 2017
I. 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, and there were members of the press present at the hearing.
II. Presence and representation of the defendants
None of the defendants was present at the hearing, and most of them were represented by their counsels.
ΙΙΙ. Proceedings – Examination of requests
The hearing commenced with the testimony of witness Gogoulos and concluded with the testimony of witness Kissas. At the start of the hearing the defense counsel for defendant Galanakis stated that another case file has been opened for the “Synergeio” case, which initially was connected to this trial, and for which her principal is about to receive a writ of summons for misdemeanor charges. A similar statement was made by defense counsel Velentza for defendant Barekas, while civil action counsel Zotos informed the Court that the case is to be tried on April 25th, 2016, and that witness Drimylis has requested a civil action within criminal proceedings. The case file in question has been misplaced, hasn’t yet been located, and contains charges of instigation for Lagos and Michos, as well as the aforementioned misdemeanors.
A. Testimony of witness Gogoulos
The witness testified, while the presiding judge interjected with clarifying questions, that he is serving in the Ilioupoli Police Precinct from September 1st, 2009, until today. The witness did not wish to state his place of residence, and said that on July 10th, 2013, he was the officer on duty from 14:00 to 22:00. Around 19:20 he heard protracted honking and the slogan “Blood, Honor, Golden Dawn” from outside. He went out on the balcony and saw around 30 motorbikes passing by. The riders were wearing black shirts and he saw that the words “Golden Dawn” were emblazoned on their backs. At the tail end of the demonstration were two DIAS motorbikes with the beacons on. Some of the participants were wearing flags and flagpoles without flags. They were heading towards Marinos Antypas Street. He went inside the office and after 5-10 minutes he received a phone call from the Command Center that an attack took place 1,5 km from the police station, in Iroon Politechneiou Street, by members of Golden Dawn, and that there may be one wounded person. The Command Center had information that the place that was attacked was the local offices of a political party, but the information was unconfirmed. Since there was no other person in the station at the time, the witness locked the building and proceeded to the site he was told on the phone, where, located in a basement, was the community center “Synergeio”. He knew about the center since the previous March, because an attack had been made with flammable material, and he knew that they gave lessons to children on the premises. He went to the entrance, there were people gathered inside and outside, and he saw that the glass panes of the entrance had been smashed, that there were scattered stools and books on the floor. He asked whether there was anyone wounded but some people told him “Are you a cop?” and started towards him, he left, called the Command Center and after about half an hour a detachment from the Southeast Attica Security Directorate arrived. There were more people gathered now, about 200 of them, and they were furious, because the attack had happened in the presence of a DIAS squad. He left the community center because the Command Center notified him that a preliminary investigation would be opened and he should get back to his duties. His information on the incident comes from the internet. Responding to a question by the presiding judge he answered that he had been ordered to gather information and take charge of the matter, but the gathered people had a very hostile attitude, they were shouting “Cops and Nazis are one and the same”. He didn’t see there anyone from the moto demonstration, the officers from Security were in constant communication with the Command Center and their order was to remain at a safe distance and report back. He didn’t search about witnesses or evidence, and none of the police officers went down to the community center, and he believes that the 200 people that were gathered were residents of the surrounding area, since the attack quickly became known, they didn’t have any rank insignia, he doesn’t know why the DIAS motorbikes were escorting the moto demonstration, he thought they followed an order from the Command Center. Responding to questions by the State Prosecutor he stated that the people there were saying that DIAS officers were present at the incident, he answered that he doesn’t know why they were holding wooden clubs, the glass entrance probably was shattered by thrown rocks, very few of the participants were wearing helmets, there was no commander, they were arranged in ranks of three, and he doesn’t know whether any MPs were with them.
Responding to questions by the Assistant State Prosecutor he stated that he doesn’t believe that the DIAS officers were indifferent, that they must have relayed the information back to the Command Center, that he doesn’t know why Golden Dawn would want to attack the community center, that they obviously knew where they were going, that he doesn’t know of any other Golden Dawn incidents involving motorbikes, neither does he know whether any arrests were made, that he didn’t see them throw any leaflets, and that he had heard that the center organized foreign language lessons.
At this point the court called for a short recess to examine the motion by defense counsel Saxionis, who claimed that the civil action has been excluded from this particular case. When they court reconvened, the presiding judge allowed the civil action to examine the witness, after the state prosecutor pointed out that this matter has been solved since the start of the proceedings, and that the civil action counsels may ask about the organization’s structure and its modus operandi. The civil action counsels seconded the State Prosecutor’s motion, while the defense counsels submitted their objections.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Sapountzakis the witness stated that the moto demonstration gave the impression that they were all going somewhere together and that he doesn’t know whether DIAS notified the Command Center. Responding to questions by civil action counsel Zafeiriou the witness stated that he doesn’t know what assault squads are, that he doesn’t know of any other groups wearing black and carrying out attacks, that he has read about the Fyssas murder in the media and that he knows that the court has already heard the cases of the attacks against PAME, KKE, and the Egyptian fishermen. He never heard what the people that carried out the attacks wore or carried, and that the slogan “Blood, Honor, Golden Dawn” obviously refers to the political party.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Malagaris the witness stated that the time that elapsed from the moment he went out on the balcony to the time he arrived on the scene was about 35 minutes, and that the moto demonstration wasn’t divided, and responding to questions by civil action counsel Tzelis he stated that the Police Colonel came later, but no one went inside the community center, and that he didn’t have a police radio with him.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Papadopoulou the witness stated that he connected the moto demonstration with the attack, that the center is now closed, and to civil action counsel Kabagiannis he answered that the demonstration did not include women, that the ages of the participants were between 20-50 years old, and that when the people were saying “Nazis” they were referring to the members of Golden Dawn that had carried out the attack.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Zotos the witness stated that he doesn’t know how long it took them to get to that point, that he doesn’t know how they left and whether they stopped anywhere else, and he identified in photographs showed to him by the counsel the street outside the police station, and regarding the assault back in March he said that it was reported to them that it was carried out by people in the far-right of the political spectrum.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Saxionis the witness stated that he is not acquainted with Galanakis and that he cannot identify any of the defendants.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Tsagas the witness stated that when they verbally attacked him he went two blocks away, and that the people gathered there did not seem to be scared.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Velentza the witness stated that he doesn’t know whether the community center had a permit, he saw stools and books that had been thrown on the floor, that no one told him there was anyone wounded, that he has only witnessed a moto demonstration by [:fans of the soccer club] Olympiakos.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Koudouris the witness stated that the moto demonstration had completely filled Agiou Konstantinou Street, that the objects that he saw were both inside and outside the area of the community center, that he was verbally attacked, because they probably thought the police was to blame, that he doesn’t know where the Command Center gets their information.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Papadelis the witness stated that he had no time to state who he was, that he had no time to do what he had gone there to do, that sometimes police officers get ousted, that he didn’t see an ambulance neither could he say whether the damage that he saw could have been made by the gathered people.
Responding to questions by defense counsel N. Michalolias the witness stated that one of them attacked him verbally, that he can’t say whether the DIAS police officers ever reached the place of the attack, that at the time he was threatened he acted both according to his duty as a police officer and according to his survival instinct, that the Colonel could have been ordered to stay at a distance due to a possible attack, and that he didn’t track the case’s progress.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Roussopoulos the witness stated that he didn’t notice Lagos, while to defense counsel Triantafylloudis he said that the behavior of the gathered people was that of anger.
Responding to questions by defense counsel G. Michalolias the witness stated that he could identify the person that verbally attacked him and to defense counsel Tsebetzis he said that no one touched him.
B. Testimony of witness Kissas
The witness testified, while the presiding judge intervened with clarifying questions, that on July 10th, 2013, he was serving in the Southeast Attica Security Directorate from 15:00 to 24:00, and that around 19:30 he was notified that a Golden Dawn group riding motorbikes and holding Greek flags was moving at the direction of Vouliagmenis Avenue. The witness and his team went to the direction of Ilioupoli but en route they were contacted again and told that unidentified persons that were in the group of motorbikes, attacked a community center in Ilioupoli. The witness and his team arrived on the scene an hour later and learned that the community center had been damaged and that its owner had been beaten. The center is at the square’s lower side, they verified the damage, a crowd had gathered outside, the police officers stayed for about an hour and the only thing they did was look around, speak on the phone, and report. They only approached by car, but the damage could easily be seen from the outside. Many people were gathered outside, of various ages, 100-150 of them, and they were doing nothing, they weren’t showing aggressiveness, neither were they shouting slogans. The police officers were ordered to conduct a search in the wider area and they went towards Iliopouli looking for motorbikes whose riders wore Golden Dawn insignia and carried flags.
They didn’t go near because Gogoulos told them he had been attacked, the witness saw that the glass entrance was smashed, as well as broken chairs, the Command Center had told him that Drimylis was the man that had been wounded, and he was told to do nothing, so he didn’t.
Responding to questions by the State Prosecutor concerning what was the point in wandering around, he stated that that was the order they received, and that when he got back he was ordered to search on the internet to find if anything had been written on the matter and he found some posts on indymedia and on iefimerida.gr.
Responding to questions by the Deputy State Prosecutor he stated that the space was a free community center and that he doesn’t know why Golden Dawn attacked it on ideological grounds.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Kabagiannis the witness identified in photos shown to him by the counsel the area outside the community center.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Zotos the witness stated that they couldn’t listen in on the DIAS channel, that the information he received was that the assailants were wearing Golden Dawn insignia and holding Greek flags.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Vrettos the witness stated that what he knows about the other Golden Dawn attacks he has read in the press.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Antanasiotis the witness stated that he has never before seen anything like this, but in most incidents a police officer initially acts as a spectator.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Papadopoulou the witness stated that Gogoulos got scared and left, that they were ordered to head to the scene of the attack and locate the suspects, that until he left he saw neither DIAS nor DELTA officers, and that no arrests were made on that day, and that on the next day he didn’t ask what happened with the information they had received.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Tzelis the witness stated that they could clearly see the damage and the people that were gathering even from where they were, at a distance, and that he wasn’t scared when he heard it was Golden Dawn.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Tobatzoglou the witness stated that they had been ordered to check the persons identified in the first signal, not to make arrests, but to ascertain how they would proceed.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Velentza the witness stated that no one informed him about the existence of a wounded person, to defense counsel Koudouris he said that the area always sees a lot of traffic and that people had gathered, that he saw the damage even from inside the car, that he heard no slogans, that he didn’t go near because he had been ordered not to.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Papadelis the witness stated that the signal he received did not state whether it was dangerous to approach, that he believes that citizens believe that policemen are to blame for everything, even when they aren’t responsible, that he believes that there was danger, but he can’t explain it, that indymedia is a part of the anarchist side of the political spectrum, but that he had no reason to not submit the evidence.
Responding to questions by defense counsel N. Michalolias the witness stated that he was alarmed by what Gogoulos told him, that he did not call Drimylis because he had no such order, that he went on indymedia by chance, and he told defense counsel Tsebetzis that he has been using the internet for years, but it was the first time that he received such an order, while to defense counsel G. Michalolias he said that can’t remember the article that accompanied the photo in indymedia.
At this point the presiding judge adjourned for Thursday, February 9th, 2017, at 09:00, in the Women’s Wing of Korydallos Prison.