70th Hearing, Court of Appeals, June 30th, 2016

1. 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 significant attendance by the public as well as members of the press.

2. Presence and representation of the defendants

Present at the start of the hearing were 14 defendants, out of a total of 18 who have been ordered to personally appear in court. Twenty-six (26) defendants were recorded as absent, while the rest were represented by their counsels.

3. Proceedings – Conclusion of witness testimony of Ksypolitos, change in the order of witnesses, witness testimony of special guard Dimitris Chatzistamatis

The microphones weren’t working at the start of the hearing. The presiding judge first called to the witness stand Ksypolitos, and defense counsel Kassis asked him how did he learn all the things he knows about the Golden Dawn MPs, and the witness answered that he’s read it in the media.

After a short recess the state prosecutor motioned to call to the witness stand Kontonikolas and Chatziesftratiou, to reject the defendants’ requests to be excused from personally appearing in court, and to change the sequence of the witness, so that Chatzistamatis and Sloupou testify instead of Chrysoula Roupakia.

The defense counsels for defendants that have requested to be excused from personally appearing in court provide excuses such as job demands or other insurmountable problems. Civil action counsel Tzellis seconded the motion by the state prosecutor and motioned to call to the witness stand eyewitness Achilleas Nikolaou, who witnessed the events from the balcony of his apartment.

The presiding judge called to the witness stand Dimitris Chatzistamatis.

4.  Witness testimony of Dimitris Chatzistamatis

Responding to questions by the presiding judge the witness stated that he was a Special Guard in Korydallos Prison since 2005, and that he is now serving in the Ministry of Justice until the conclusion of the official inquiry that was put in motion after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. There was a Champions League soccer match that day, and it was impossible to find a table anywhere, he went to Koralli at a quarter to eight to reserve a table for him and his friends. He testified that nothing prepared him for what was going to happen, Olympiakos lost the match, he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, such as political or ideological comments. According to the witness, the hubbub was natural for a sports event.

He didn’t observe anything, such as a group of people or something out of the ordinary, there was nothing strange, at least outside the café. Two or three minutes after the end of the match he went outside to get his motorbike and saw his brother, who was the owner of the café, who told him that there was going to be a fight, since some guys got into a staring match and now wouldn’t back down. It was then that he saw 3 persons in Pavlou Mela St. wearing black clothes, of a particular kind, uniformly dressed, they looked as if they belonged to a certain political party, two of whom he had seen before in the neighborhood wearing Golden Dawn t-shirts. One of them was dark-haired and the other had probably brown hair but had shaved it. One of them was screaming into his phone. At the other side of the street, behind his brother, the owner of the café, there were four people, a tall one that he later learned was Pavlos Fyssas, a girl, a tall thin guy, and one other person. The witness took the initiative to talk to them, in order to solve the misunderstanding. The three he had seen were very tense, they were standing in the middle of the street, and the people in the other group were calm. He went near the three, he talked to one of them, who from what he learned later was Aggos, and he’d seen him around the neighborhood. He asked him what was the problem and he said “Do you see those guys? They must go. They must go or we’ll fuck them up”.

The other one was brawnier, he had a mobile phone and was talking into it and saying “they’re here, we’ll fuck them up”, he was speaking to someone on the phone loud enough so that he could be heard by the other group. Until that point the witness thought that the incident had to do with the soccer match. He chose the tall one from the other group, the one that had his girlfriend with him and so stood to lose the most, because it was a time that Golden Dawn was dominating the area and whoever opposed them was sure to get beaten. He said to Pavlos “What do you want now, don’t you see they’re Golden Dawn, you got your girlfriend, you had your drinks, you watched the match”. One of Fyssas’ friends then shouted “This is Keratsini, smash fascism!” and the witness went to other three to try and convince them to leave, then he came back to Pavlos and his friends and told them to leave, but Pavlos said that “I want to go out and drink my beer free wherever I want”. The witness testified that he tried to calm both groups, so that they would leave. But Fyssas told him that their cars were further up the street [:where the three were standing] and that’s when the witness began to get scared, because one of the other three had a wooden club and was brandishing it. Pavlos said they should leave, to go elsewhere for a beer, and they left towards Tsaldari. The witness told the others to go and at that point two DIAS motorbikes came out of the street and were shouting “Okay guys break it up now”. One of the guys from the Fyssas group came back, the one that had shouted the political slogan about fascism, and stared angrily at the Golden Dawners again. The witness told the DIAS police officers that a fight over Olympiakos had just been averted, but, the witness said, everything changed when he heard the sound of marching, and a group of about 20 people came from P. Mela and Xanthou St., wearing helmets and dressed uniformly and saying “there he is, there he is”. The members of this group wore black shirts, some of them wore camo pants and others blue pants. The witness stated that the marching was coordinated, it wasn’t like an average group of people, it had a rhythm, they had trained at it, and it was one of those things that scare you.

The witness went on to say that the first thing they said was “there he is, there he is, we’ll fuck you up you fucking dicks”, that they were shouting all together, and one of them said “let’s go this way” and then they charged Pavlos’ group. The witness was shocked, then saw two or three chasing Pavlos and from that moment on he didn’t see them again. Concerning the DIAS police officers the witness believes that they, too, were caught by surprise. Then they chased the Golden Dawners, he heard of the stabbing and saw two girls coming down the street saying that someone had been stabbed. Then he saw Pavlos lying in the arms of his girlfriend, who told him that he [:the witness] was a Golden Dawner, both him and the DIAS police officers. The witness then saw to Pavlos, asked for gauze and water, he talked to him, and waited for the ambulance, which took too long. There wasn’t too much blood in the wound, something which alarmed the witness, he pulled up the t-shirt and saw that he had a rose in the heart, the knife wound looked like a rose. The witness said that a normal knife wound doesn’t look like this, this had no blood, and the next day when he described the wound his superior told him that the murderer must have twisted the knife. He didn’t get a look at the perpetrator’s car.

The presiding judge read to the witness a few excerpts from his preliminary testimony that were contradicting his hearing testimony, and the witness said that he didn’t read his preliminary testimony before signing it, neither did he get a copy, he trusted his colleagues. He believes that because a murder took place in the presence of policemen, they are looking for a scapegoat. The presiding judge pointed out to him that he has spoken about helmets and brandished wooden clubs and the witness said that some were holding the helmets high, threateningly, like a banner, in order to scare the other group. A voice was heard above the rest but he didn’t hear any military orders. He believes that they singled out Fyssas, that they chased him, that the target was the tall one, the stronger one, the witness explained that “when you go against a group, you single out the stronger one that can damage you, that’s a street fighting strategy”. The witness then stated that as he was coming in the morning to the court to testify he was drinking a coffee in VENETI and a car collided with a motorbike. He immediately went to see if the man was okay, and that’s how he’s like, and many people asked him why did you go there that night etc., and that’s what he’s like, without thinking that he might get into trouble, and he also said that the simplest thing for him on that night was to go home. He hasn’t received any threats. The presiding judge told him that he has stated that Roupakias had been trained and the witness testified that a stab like this can’t be done by just anyone, and that he called him “trained” because he thinks it is a strike that you must have learned, a strike that you must be trained in, from a hand learned in knives. He also stated that those that came and were shouting and all that parade made it easier for the perpetrator and if they weren’t present at the scene, the murder wouldn’t have taken place.

Responding to questions by the state prosecutor he stated that the DIAS police officers couldn’t have arrested more people apart from Roupakias, that it was his mistake that he didn’t read his preliminary testimony, that his brother of the owner didn’t tell him anything else, that the policemen in GADA told him to go home and rest and to the friends of Fyssas they said that the witness wasn’t a police officer and that they’d been had. He went on to state that one of the three Golden Dawners was called Giannis, that he doesn’t recall saying anything about a shirt inside out, he thinks that he will remember the third one if he sees him again, that he doesn’t know who it was he was speaking to on the phone, but he felt that he was calling for people to come, because after a while they came. He doesn’t think that he held up Fyssas and his friends, the kid that had shouted the slogan came back and once more stared angrily at the Golden Dawners. He doesn’t know whether the three Golden Dawners in Pavlou Mela St. joined the larger group or if they stayed there.

Responding to questions by the deputy state prosecutor he stated that during that period Golden Dawn had a specific social presence, and that’s why he told Fyssas’ girlfriend that “they’ll get you”. The group of Fyssas was in danger from the group of Golden Dawners, not the other way around, Golden Dawn was going around showing off their muscle, and personally if he and his friends were there he wouldn’t have opposed them because he would have ended up in the hospital with a busted head.

His opinion is that the incident was coordinated, they couldn’t have gathered at random at 12 o’clock in the night after the match to solve their differences.

Responding to questions by a member of the court he stated that the DIAS policemen were moving on their bikes, not on foot, and that the murder took place in the presence of police officers.

After a short recess the court rejected the defendants’ requests and ordered them to personally appear in court, all 18 of them, in the next hearing, so that the witness can proceed with an identification, called Kontonikolas and Chatziefstratiou to testify, and adjourned for Monday, July 4th, 2016, at 09:00, at the Court of Appeals.