125th Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, February 9th, 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, 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
None of the defendants was present at the hearing, and most of them were represented by their counsels.
III. Examination of witness Panagiotis Tsafolopoulos (a member of the community center Synergeio)
A. Examination of the witness by the members of the court
Responding to questions by the presiding judge, the witness testified that on July 10th, 2013, his son was in the community center “Synergeio”. He called the witness to say that a Golden Dawn group attacked “Synergeio” and wounded three people. When the witness got to “Synergeio”, about 100 people had gathered there, some of which were residents of the neighborhood, people involved in the center, people from other political organizations, etc. When he got in he saw that the door had been smashed, he saw broken glass and things thrown on the floor, the place had been vandalized. He saw Aggelos, a friend of his son’s, limping, and Drimylis, who had been hit but wasn’t bleeding.
The neighbors told him that a group of Golden Dawners had carried out the attack, that they came two each on 40 motorbikes, wearing black shirts and helmets and holding sticks, shouting “BLOOD HONOR GOLDEN DAWN”.
The witness went on to say that the trashing of “Synergeio” started after his son had managed to get out, at a time when an English class was held in the premises. As he said, “Synergeio” is a community center which hosts cultural events, children’s classes, a lending library, a cinema club, and is run by people with an antifascist ideology.
Regarding the police’s stance concerning the incident, the witness said that when he got there he saw 2-3 scooters of the DIAS squad which happened to be passing and stopped to check. Their behavior was offensive. As he said, some of the young people involved in “Synergeio” were trying to fix the entrance door which had been vandalized. The policemen were looking at them fixing the door and exhibited a conspicuously childish behavior. They were walking around and saying things like “what’s that you’re holding? Do you want to shove it up my ass?” and they exhibited improper behavior in general, as well as making obscene gestures. The witness stated that one of the policemen addressed him to say “I’ll see you again” something that the witness took as a threat against his person. He also said that the witnesses wrote on a piece of paper the license plate numbers that they managed to gather during the attack, but the policemen showed no interest in the piece of paper.
Responding to questions by the State Prosecutor the witness said that he doesn’t believe that Drimylis had been targeted personally by Golden Dawn, but that the target of the attack was “Synergeio”. Responding to a question about whether there was a commander at the scene, the witness said that he heard that they saw Lagos in a car and Michos on a motorcycle. He also said that the DIAS squad was present at the convoy, but were looking on without doing anything. The witness stated that he went to the police precinct to file a complaint but later got afraid and dropped the charges.
The Assistant State Prosecutor asked him what was the antifascist activity of the center. The witness answered that they held frequent discussions about the subject of fascism and that they organized antifascist demonstrations in the area. Golden Dawn wanted to repress them because they were active right in the center of Ilioupoli. He also said that the attack on “Synergeio” is similar to the Golden Dawn attacks against the fishermen and PAME.
B. Examination by the civil action counsels
Civil action counsel Sapountzakis took the floor. The witness said that a fight has two sides. What happened at “Synergeio” was an attack. On one side were the victims, the people of “Synergeio”, and on the other side were the assailants, the members of Golden Dawn. Responding to another question concerning the behavior of policemen the witness said that the DIAS policemen were indifferent, while the DELTA policemen were offensive.
Responding to questions by civil action counsel Malagaris, the witness stated that the attack on “Synergeio” was completely unprovoked. The counsel then told the witness to clarify a few things about the eyewitness, Aggelos, whom he identified as a friend of his son. The witness said that he doesn’t know his last name or place of residence. Defense counsel Roussopoulos (for Lagos) intervened to say that for two years they had been hearing vague allegations about “residents of the area” and various “Aggelos”, without a definitive ID. Malagaris agreed that that’s exactly why he was asking the witness to be more specific.
Civil action counsel Zotos then took the floor and asked the witness whether he could ask his son to give the surname and address of Aggelos, and the witness said that he was going to find out soon. The civil action counsel showed some photos to the witness and asked him to describe them. The witness said that the photographs must have been taken from the balcony of Doctor Spiliotis. He recognized in the photographs scenes from the motorized demonstration and the attack. He identified Michos in the photographs in front of the distillery and the piece of paper listing the assailants’ license plate numbers. The witness stated that the Ilioupoli Police Precinct did not accept the piece of paper, but he had copied the numbers on another piece of paper which he finally gave to the investigators.
Civil action counsel Kabagiannis was the next one to examine the witness. The witness stated that the antifascist activities stand ideologically opposite Golden Dawn and that “Synergeio”, where the attack took place, was home to many such activities and actions which involved immigrants as equal participants. Finally, he said that Michos and Lagos, who were seen at the scene of the attack, were again supported by Golden Dawn to run for the ballot in the next parliamentary elections.
Responding to a relevant question by civil action counsel Papadakis, the witness stated that “Synergeio” has about 3,000 members, and that in the assembly held each Monday the people present decide jointly the actions taken by the “union”, which are then printed on posters and other printed materials.
C. Examination of the witness by the defense counsels
Responding to questions by defense counsel Filoxenitis the witness stated that even though there is a renting contract for the building that “Synergeio” rents, he doesn’t know who are the two parties of the contract, nor the amount paid, nor who paid it. He knows that the money for the expenses were gathered from a money box that was installed in the center, which was opened at each assembly, and the amount was noted down. The witness also said that the person responsible for the running of the center was whoever was voted in the Monday assembly.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Saxionis the witness stated that his preliminary testimony lasted many hours, and that during his testimony in Elliniko they didn’t ask specific questions. Concerning the paper listing the license plate numbers that the residents noted down on the day on the attack, he went to the Ilioupoli Police Precinct with a group of people from SYRIZA to protest the police officers’ stance on the matter. They showed the piece of paper to the policemen, who gave it back to them after copying its contents, saying that they are not qualified to accept it.
Responding to a question by defense counsel Tsagas the witness stated that the SYRIZA group included MPs Kanellopoulou and Bolari. He went with them to the Ilioupoli Police Precinct as the SYRIZA local chapter. He was then called to give another testimony in Elliniko. He said nothing about the piece of paper in that testimony, neither did he have the piece of paper with him. In any case no one asked him about it. The witness went on to say that the “Synergeio” center was destroyed and that after the attack people were afraid and that’s why it closed its doors.
Defense counsel Velentza asked the witness if there exists a memorandum of association for “Synergeio”, and what is the rent on the building and the witness answered that it never occurred to him to ask. To another question he stated that he left the scene, he went to the SYRIZA offices, and came back later. The defense counsel then wanted to know exactly how the police officers were hassling the people present. The witness answered that they were going around making obscene gestures and talking rudely, instead of going after the assailants.
Defense counsel Kountouris, after objecting in order to render the photographs shown invalid, proceeded to use the same photos to ask the witness whether the people pictured in them wear black or stand in formation. The witness answered that the photograph is a shot of the convoy and not the entire convoy, and pointed out to scattered people that were wearing black. Concerning another photograph he said that a flagpole is a weapon.
Responding to questions by defense counsel Papadelis the witness stated that there are various party offices in Ilioupoli (ND, SYRIZA, and KKE) but they did not come under attack. The defense counsel asked of the witness to explain why he didn’t ask his son to testify before the court, since as an eyewitness he would have more to add, and why did he withhold Aggelos’ identity. He also asked for the name of the officer in the Ilioupoli Police Precinct, and who was it that lashed out at him. The witness said that he didn’t know his name, and that a policeman ran over his foot with his scooter. The defense counsel protested that a witness can’t just throw accusations around without supporting evidence, and marring in such a way the image of the Greek Police, without presenting specific names.
Defense counsel Alexiadis then asked whether the witness knew that the piece of paper he was holding had among it the license plate number of Lagos, and the witness said that he didn’t know who were the owners of the vehicles, and that he heard from the residents of the area that they saw Lagos in a white car.
At this point the presiding judge adjourned for Friday, February 9th, 2017, at 09:00, in the Court of Appeals.