Translated by Imprisoned Anarchist Giannis Naxakis
Report of the trial concerning the ATE Bank robbery in Purgetos (Greece)
*The trial is taking place inside Korydallos prison in the “special court” designed for “dangerous” prisoners. Accused of the robbery are two anarchists, Grigoris Sarafoudis and Yannis Naxakis.
On Monday 31/3 the first actual hearing took place. The three first witnesses (bank manager and clerks) were examined. They didn’t recognize in the face of G.Sarafoudis any of the perpetrators of the robbery (Y.Naxakis refuses to participate in the procedure and is absent from the courtroom). How could they recognize them though since the perpetrators were wearing hoods?
To the questions asked by the judge to the first witness, she categorically answered ‘no’ when asked about any chance of her distinguishing any characteristic of the two perpetrators. The questions from the juridical side continued without any outcome. Then the questions moved on to the possibility of recognition of the body shape of G.Sarafoudis but once again there was no outcome since the witnesses said they saw two really tall men.
The witnesses also categorically denied seeing any of the perpetrators carrying a mobile phone or a hands-free speaker set (material that was found at the scene and on which the DNA of G.Sarafoudis was supposedly found). They also said that they were not threatened during the robbery and that they saw the action once again on a DVD copied from the CCTV recording system. But the DVD doesn’t exist in the file with the relevant documents. It looks like the antiterrorist police didn’t find any incriminating evidence on the video against the two accused comrades and decided to make it disappear…
The trial continued on the 2nd of April. Three more witnesses were examined. A man who lives across the street from the bank, a woman who lives on the top floor of the building where the bank is situated (who also owns the premises and works as a cleaner in the bank) who was at home during the robbery, and an undercover cop from Larissa (biggest nearby city) police headquarters.
The cop claimed that he went to investigate the scene after the robbery the same day but it looks like he never actually did.
Anything he saw was from the CCTV video! After examining this liar-witness the lawyer of G.Sarafoudis pointed out the many contradictions in his answers and came to realise that the cop never actually visited the ATE bank branch! The cop contested all the witnesses that had been examined before him while the lawyer demanded a cross-examination with one witness who had already been examined (a practitioner clerk of the bank).
The lawyer suggested that the cop had taken the role of witness in an attempt to fill in important missing parts of the case file and also to repudiate the witnesses that had testified before him. As the undercover cop testified that he was with three more cops, the lawyer submitted a demand for them to be brought in to testify.
The bank manager testified that she pressed the alarm button that gives a signal to the bank headquarters in Athens while the resident testified that he called the cops of the local police station of Rapsani (biggest nearby village) who arrived 45 minutes later. However the court didn’t ask how the cop witness from Larissa was informed! It is not proved anywhere that any other cops went to the scene. Looks like the judge didn’t want to discredit the role of the undercover cop in order to incriminate the two accused comrades.
A witness who was a practitioner clerk at the Purgetos branch at the time the robbery happened, testified that she picked up the mobile phone and the hands-free speaker set from the floor with her bare hands and placed them on a table. The cop though testified that he saw these objects on the floor! But since he never actually went to the scene it makes perfect sense that he doesn’t know exactly where these objects were found – if they were ever found -.
The examination of the witness whose car was stolen and used for the robbery was the only one left but she didn’t show up at the court. The question raised at that point was whether her statement could be read out. The lawyer of G. Sarafoudis answered that her client has nothing to fear from that statement but it cannot be read because the procedure for issuing the summons had not been followed correctly so it’s not proved whether the witness could actually be approached.
The prosecutor suggested that the court should meet the demands of the lawyer so no “shadows” would be left. The court rejected the demands for bringing in the three cops and the witness (practitioner clerk), but agreed not to read the statement of the witness who was absent.
The trial continued on the 7th of April. The hearing was completed with the revision of documents about which some serious issues were raised. The lawyer of G.Sarafoudis submitted a few demands in order to clarify these issues. The prosecutor was positive but the court rejected all the demands besides one. The demands from the lawyer were:
-A report of the crime investigation department of Larissa that was sent on 23/12/2011, one day after the robbery to be brought in -The hands-free speaker set (evidence) or a picture of it to be brought in -The CCTV video from 22/12/2011 with the whole act of the robbery to be brought in -Any document related to the biological profile (DNA) of G.Sarafoudis from the archives of the crime investigation department to be brought in since supposedly DNA was taken from G.Sarafoudis officially the same day of his arrest (30th of April 2013) and should belong to that department.
Only the first demand was met by the court. For the second demand the answer was that they cannot bring in any evidence and that a picture of it doesn’t exist! The same with the video! For the fourth demand the answer again was that nothing was found in the archives of the Crime Investigation Department and that they don’t know how the comparison between DNA found on the hands-free set and the DNA taken from G.Sarafoudis happened! The trial will continue on April 30th.
*It should be mentioned that both comrades after their arrest refused to give fingerprints and DNA samples. The tactic of the antiterrorist cops however is to obtain them even if extreme violence is needed as happened in this case.