UPDATE ON REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE TRIAL
Are you going to have a trial with witnesses or with proof of evidence the scenario of the Anti-terrorist force?
This is the essential question faced by the terror-court of Koridallos, before the hearing begins with the examination of the prosecution witnesses. Legally, this question took the form of a dispute from the side of the defence with the examination as a witness of Kostandinos Papathanasiou, officer of the Police, head of the 1st Department of Internal Security of the Management and Facing of Special Crimes of Violence,(ΔΑΕΕΒ) as is the formal service name of the infamous Anti-terrorist force.
We will try to explain as simply as possible the substance of the matter put, in order for all those who are not acquainted with legal matters to realize it.
The Code of Penal Law, -not only the existing one, but the one that was in force before 1950- forbids to examine as witnesses anyone who has been involved in the interrogations for the case in matter. This is a main protection of the rights of the defendant, because these specific people have knowledge of the case and have formed, to one degree or another, the frame in which this case got to court to be tried. Hence, it is considered from the start that they are not outspoken witnesses, but have an opinion for the case and the defendants (does not matter if its for or against). Beyond the formed opinion they have, many times they also have a personal interest from the outcome of the case according to the frame which themselves, as interrogating or preliminary employees, have formed. A police officer, for example, does not want a case which he/she “set up”to be proven a fiasco and that is why as a witness they will act with prejudice for the the case he/she “set up”. As a small guarantee therefore, article 211 of the Code of Penal Law forbids witnesses who have had interrogating or preliminary duties in the case, to testify. There is, actually, a legislation that forbids even secretaries of preliminary interrogations to testify as witnesses, let alone people who had the responsibility of the “set up”of a case, such as the cop in question.
Lets see, therefore, what goes for the specific officer, as described with numerous details from the defence advocates.
M.Daliani presented the legal frame in which are based the objections of the defence. Article 211 of the C.P.L. forbids witnesses to testify who have practised interrogating duties, because suspicions of prejudice and defending of service interests arise, article 33 of the C.P.L. defines who are those who practised interrogating duties, clearly defining that interrogating duty is also every action that took place in the frame of the preliminary interrogation. Only the preliminary interrogator has knowledge of the trial brief, while those foreign to the interrogation have no right to gain knowledge (therefore, the knowledge of Papathanasakis is knowledge of the preliminary interrogator). The preliminary interrogation for the specific case began from the Department of Criminal Prosecution against Life in GADA (Athens police headquarters), after the death of Lambros Foundas, while the next day already the 1st Department of Internal Terrorism of the DAEEB took over, head of which is Papathanasakis. This is shown clearly from the stamps on the official documents. Papathanasakis collected all of the material, he gave the order to the Service of Criminal Investigations (police labs) to collect and investigate of numerous proof, he asked for the lifting of the secrecy of some phone lines, he informed the interrogator, he signs the whole of the lists with the evaluation of findings when the trial brief was transferred to the public prosecutor. He, himself gave a preliminary testimony in which he did not bring any proof of evidence, went ahead however to an evaluation of all material. He also testified to the special appeals prosecutor, where he even asked to use his notes so he does not forget anything. He seems to have such detailed knowledge, because he is the preliminary interrogator as the head of the department that preformed it. For this, he has a service interest to claim that his version is the right one. It is characteristic that he is the only one of the prosecution witnesses who refers to some of the defendants, such as for example Stathopoulos. This is why he should be excluded.
Anny Paparoussou continued, and read out Papathanasakis testimony, in which is included a large list of preliminary acts in which he participated: he asked for the secrecy lift on specific phone lines, made the evidence chart, made the chart for the documents for the trials brief, made the proof chart, the document of the DAEEB towards the special appeals interrogator etc.etc. Almost all of the trials brief is made by him. He practised preliminary and interrogating duties. He mentioned many incidents, not from his immediate knowledge, interpreting them. He is the one who gave the meaning to the whole case. For Nikitopoulos this meaning is of defining importance. He evaluated two meetings, which anyone could, and called him a member of the organization. He sent the interrogator ready made conclusions under the form of an essay.
The “antiterrorist”legislations have an immediate relation with the matter in discussion, pointed out D. Vagianou. As a result of these legislations was added to the C.P.L., article 253A, that concerns interrogative actions for “terrorism”cases. These interrogative actions were carried out by Papathanasakis as the head in charge. He was the protagonist as an interrogative organ in the interrogating procedures with a political content. He had a managerial task, he was the maestro of the orchestra. It is unacceptable for him to testify, because consciously or subconsciously will try to justify what he did.
P. Roumeliotis returned concisely to the legal matters and described the actions of Papathanasakis, which are these that the CPL defines as interrogating actions. According to the legislation, pointed out the advocate, interrogating employee is even whoever carries out an arrest or the 2nd degree interrogating employee, who simply is present and signs, without doing anything, let alone he who coordinates everything. The ratio of the law says that the specific employee open to any kind of pressures and will not be objective. Papathanasakis does not simply mention incidents, but makes conclusions that lead specific accused to condemnation. For example, he penalizes a meeting. From the outcome of this case he hopes for a better professional evolution, without forgetting that in these cases there are major ethical and professional benefits, there are bounties, which means economic gains. If Papathanasakis testifies, then there will be a tear away from the values of a ‘fair trial’, as defined by article 6 of the European Convention for Human Rights.
H. Ladis noted that all the pre-trial demands that were rejected by the court. In some of them there was a legal base, as for example the objection for the political offence, while in this case it does not exist. The forbidding of article 211 of the CPL is a foundational lawful forbidding, which has been applied throughout time. Based on this even the secretary of the interrogation is excluded from being a witness and this is an answer to the legitimate protest of every defendant that there is prejudice against them. In this case, the witness is the basic figure of the prejudice. He became a witness, because he has never been a witness in anything and simply makes a mixture, transforming into a testimony anything that has been gathered, in order to create a specific image against specific defendants. What will we say to the defendants that claim that they have across them the whole mechanism? Why did they not 4-5 cops as witnesses, if there were, that can testify what they realized first hand? Why do they bring the second hand and not those who allegedly mentioned things to Papathanasakis? If you reject this self-explanatory demand, he continued, it would as if you hope that soon this legislation section will be abolished. In the meantime, there will be a major blow to the feeling of justice that every citizen has.
Laconic K. Dailianas, agreed with his pre spoken colleagues and noted that from the content of the two testimonies of Papathanasakis it comes out that he testifies nothing as his own knowledge, but whatever he learnt from his service as a interrogative employee.
From the above, we think its clear what this is about. We note that it is about a turn in the tactic of the Anti-terrorist. In the trials of the 17N and R.P.S not even a nostril of ‘anti-terrorist’ appeared to testify. Only two officers appeared at the second trial of R.P.S, to ’empty’ the fake witness that testified he ‘recognized’ G.Serifis in an action of R.P.S. In Perissos. They wanted to ’empty’ him, because the scenario of the Anti-terrorist had placed G.Serifis in 17N and not R.P.S. and the fake witness spoiled their scenario. When they were asked in the trial generally about the case, they denied to answer, claiming the specific forbidding legislation (they had practised preliminary interrogation duties)! The same answer was given by judges and prosecutors to the defence advocates in both of these trials, who asked to summon officers of the Anti-terrorist to testify: we cannot summon them because they have practised preliminary duties and is forbidden by article 211 of the CPL. They raised a protective wall around the officers of the Anti-terrorist, because they considered they can fulfil these trials with other “proof” (in the 17N case with the “confessions” and those who cooperated, in the RPS case with the “Stazi archives” and three civilian fake witnesses.
In the current trial of R.S. they had no other way to “tie up” some of the defendants beyond the “material” of the Anti-terrorist. This is why they assigned to the responsible head of the department to create a scenario and present it. They consider that he can mange in the court room, contrary to those who carried out the surveillances. This is the substance. They want to do the trial using as a main witness the script writer of the Anti-terrorist, tearing up one of the fundamental provisions of the existing legislation system and inaugurating a new period, during which they will bring a Anti-terrorist officer as a specialist and the scenario which he will present will be taken as indisputable proof.
After the allocutions of the advocates, the trial was interrupted until next Monday (21st), in order for the allocution of S.Fitrakis absent because of illness. The other defence advocates had applied for a interruption from the beginning of the procedure.
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