195th Hearing, Women’s Wing, Korydallos Prison, November 3rd, 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 limited attendance by the public, but significant presence of members of the press.
II. Presence and representation of the defendants
None of the defendants was present at the hearing.
The hearing commenced with the testimony of the first of the protected witnesses, which was plagued with technical shortcomings. The presiding judge had to call for a recess right at the start in order to restore the connection with the room where the witness was seated. The presiding judge was assured by the Athens District Attorney A. Kosma and the Justice of the Peace Xanth. Nounelli that the witness in the protected witnesses room is indeed the witness codenamed “A”.
ΙV. Testimony of protected witness codenamed “A”
A. Examination of the witness by the court
Responding to questions by the presiding judge the witness answered that in the beginning of 2012 he went to one of the Piraeus chapters of Golden Dawn, and was introduced by one of his friends, who told him that they could provide him with work and financial support. Sometimes he went to the Nikaia chapter and sometimes to the Piraeus chapter. His first meeting was with Patelis, whom he knew as the leader of the Nikaia chapter. The witness watched patriotic speeches, especially in the Piraeus chapter, which was visited by both Lagos and Michaloliakos. He said that they were doing what they called “walks” or “excursions”, such as the one in Sparta, where they went to do something or beat up someone. After three months, they took him for training in Malakasa, near the military facilities there. He attended this military-style training three times. The trainees were each time 30-35 people, and the trainers were various people, among them a retired army officer and Roupakias [the murderer of Pavlos Fyssas], who “tried to show he was in charge” and who wasn’t like the others, since he had the ear of the commanders, the cell leaders, etc.
The witness left Golden Dawn after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, since “he didn’t have it in him to become a murderer like all those people”. On the night of the Fyssas’ murder he received a text message by Periklis Moulakiotis (sic) [he means Periklis Moulianakis, the person in charge of the Salamina, Piraeus, and Nikaia chapters]. The message said that everyone should be in Keratsini at 21:30 for an important matter. The witness said he was sick and didn’t go, because he had seen what went on in the chapters. He said that right after the murder of Fyssas, the testimonies of the friends of Fyssas leaked, and were photocopied and circulated in the Nikaia and Piraeus chapters, in September 2013.
Witness A testified that he had participated in a “walk” in Rentis in 2012, attended by 40 persons on 20 motorbikes, where a Pakistani man was beaten up. They had received a message that there was a problem in the Rentis square and they had to be there. According to the Witness A, in each such occasion there was a person in charge, who said “now we rush forward”.
The witness participated in another assault in Ippodameias square in Piraeus, again after receiving a text message, which told them to gather in the Piraeus chapter for an important matter. The person who sent these messages always used the same number, and according to the witness it was Periklis [Moulianakis], and they also received text messages from a PC, which weren’t from a telephone number.
The witness then said that he and his family have received many death threats. He had begun to see, since June 2012, the tactics of hate they implemented, and he didn’t like it. The witness stated that most of the people that enter the organization are young kids who get brainwashed. Responding to a question by the presiding judge, Witness A asked her “What does ‘Blood, Honor, Golden Dawn’ mean? My blood? Because here it was other people’s blood that was shed”. The witness was never sworn in but there were kids 17-18 years old who were sworn to silence, to never reveal what they know.
The conversations revolved around how to expel the immigrants, but there were also the “good immigrants” who were giving Golden Dawners kickbacks every once in a while. The witness stated that the local chapters had guns, stashed in the houses of prominent members, while the offices had only sticks and knives. Patelis also has guns, two handguns and one 45 mm. He returned to his training, saying that he was trained to endure and withstand pain, the things a commando does in the battlefield training track, and also stated that “we were also beat up, in order to withstand pain”. He was punched in the kidney and has a bump at the back of the neck. Besides Roupakias, Kasidiaris also visited the training grounds, and was in charge of showing them martial arts moves and exercises.
The local chapters gave them pamphlets that had mainly to do with Nazism, and they sold books, but also apparel and caps bearing the logo of Golden Dawn.
According to Witness A the attacks were always planned in advance, an order was issued by the sector commander, who had first discussed it with Lagos, and he in turn had discussed it with Michaloliakos. A cell leader cannot give the order for a murder on his own, he must have an order from above. He said that each local chapter had two cells, the open and the closed, and he characterized his position as that of a simple footman. Becoming a probationary member was no simple matter, they had to think you were one of their own.
Responding to a relevant question by the presiding judge, he said that the police arrived in time during the attack in Ippodameias square, but they didn’t approach and that there weren’t many police officers.
Referring to the death threats he had received, he said that at the end of 2012 they had threatened his wife and child, saying that “if he opened his mouth they would be burned alive”, and they also phoned him to threaten him, and he had to change his phone number and address 2-3 times.
Responding to questions by the Assistant State Prosecutor, witness A said that the assault squads consist of 15-30 people, and that the uniform of the Nikaia chapter was black pants and Golden Dawn t-shirt, while the uniform of the Piraeus chapter was camo pants and Golden Dawn t-shirt, plus army boots. They were holding flags hoisted on thick sticks, which they used as weapons, and there was always a person in charge – in the assault squad the witness was a member of it was Makis. The witness stated that the activity of the assault squads had been approved by the leadership.
B. Examination by the defense counsels
Witness A was examined in turn by defense counsels Kontovazenitis, Michalolias G., and Gavelas.
Responding to relevant questions he said that the attack in Rentis took place sometime in 2012, but he couldn’t say exactly when, and the attack in Ippodameias Square took place near Christmas 2012. He said that from 2012 he started going less and less to the Golden Dawn chapter, and during 2013 he went only a handful of times. It must be noted that defense counsel Michalolias G. examined the witness calling him by name again and again, despite repeated admonitions by the presiding judge. Witness A stated that he had heard that Patelis has a 45 mm handgun, and maintained that when someone is accepted in a local chapter he is checked thoroughly, and also that the man in charge of the chapter was Makis. The witness also said that during his testimony to Piraeus investigating judge he forgot to mention that Patelis had a gun, and that it wasn’t uncommon to have guns in the chapters, they just took care to conceal them.
Tensions then rose in the courtroom and the proceedings were interrupted, because the defense counsels claimed that they heard a male voice correcting the answer of witness A. After a short recess the defense counsels submitted en masse a motion, set down in the trial records under article 141 CCP, asking that the court retract its decision concerning the personal appearance of the protected witnesses and to throw out the witness testimony because he is completely untrustworthy. They then stated that they will leave the courtroom.
The State prosecutor, following the confirmation from the officer of the court and the officer of the state prosecutor’s office who were present in the room where the protected witness was giving his testimony, that there was no other person present in the room with the witness, motioned to overrule the motion by the defense counsels. The presiding judge overruled the motion, while the defense motioned for a technical evaluation and departed the courtroom. However, they came back and asked to continue the examination of the witness in the next hearing.
The presiding judge adjourned for November 8th, 2017, in the Women’s Wing of Korydallos Prison.