Thessaloniki -Final Updates on the Appeal trial on ”Mylonas’ kidnapping” of Polikarpos Georgiadis, Vaggelis Chrisohoidis and Giorgos Haralambidis


Thursday, May 10th. 2012

The trial continues with the examination of Milonas by the advocates of Polikarpos. Milonas concludes that he has doubts about Polikarpos as well. Milonas also brought in a paper from a doctor for his wife, who does not appear because she suffers from depression (as commented by the lawyers, obviously it is not because of the kidnapping but because of the economic crisis of capitalism…) The rest of the day was mainly occupied by one of the cops who participated in the investigation, who seems more “studied” that the first degree trial. But to the question of the lawyers why there were no voice identifications in science labs, the witness answered that the scientific department “sold them out”…

Friday, May 11th.

One of the prosecution witnesses, Akrivopoulos, who is a personal friend of Milonas and has served as the lawyer of ‘Alumil’, with a small participation in the case and while at the first degree trial had a short testimony, this time quickly changes his mind. Against even the testimony of Milonas himself, he tries to establish a climate of hatred which does not reflect any reality. The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses continues, mainly of cops who participated in the investigation. Even at key points which supposedly “thicken” the charges, it is impressive that none of them was present but they all had the information transferred by their superiors…

Monday, May 14th

After the reading of some documents, it’s the turn of the defence witnesses. The defence witnesses testify that on the two dates respectively, they were with their comrades in personal and public moments. As for the social environment of the accused (relatives, friends, comrades, co-workers, neighbours etc.), the concern of the court was to impose a tight and restrained dimension of the defence speech: in the beginning with smiles after that with constant rings of the bell and finally with the interruption of the procedure, the chairwoman attempted to cease every reference to the conscious reasons which led the comrades to providing asylum and solidarity to a fugitive and someone wanted by the authorities, let alone when it is about a conscious outlaw who attacks the economic structures without harming anyone poor or mistreated.

The raising of the above reasons will come finally from the accused comrades in their testimonies. Vaggelis referred to the ideas of freedom and the intense experiences in the working spaces which led him to the choice of solidarity to Vassilis Paleokostas, denying however the charges of participation in a criminal organization, robbery, kidnapping and receiving a part of the ransom. After that he made a comparison of the illegitimacy of Paleokostas with the legitimate illegitimacy of the state and the terrorism of the economic measures, especially in conditions of economic crisis.

He later referred to the daily life of the prisons, the discrepancy of the sentence he got in the first trial with the weight of his choices or even, the actions attributed to him in the charges. Then he made critical comments on the anti-criminal policy, correction and the penal law. (the chairwoman having long ago “worn” a sympathetic attitude, at a moment appears completely charmed: ‘you say thing very well, Vaggelis’…). Finally, Vaggelis answered questions specifically about the case for a quite a while.

After a short break, it was Polis turn. He analysed the meaning of social robbery as defined by Hobsbawm and detected its tradition through the greek and international history, including in it also Vassilis Paleokostas. He also denied the charges attributed to him and mentioned the political characteristics of his support to Paleokostas, independently if he agrees 100% with all of his choices.

He mentioned however the form of discrimination of violence according to Žižek, he differentiated the illegitimate violence of Paleokostas (i.e. kidnapping) which is of a coincidental nature from the structural violence of the institutions and capital which establishes a permanent condition of repression and tolerance, concluding to the present situation, suicides and deaths from the non-satisfaction of very basic needs vital needs. Finally, Polis also answered questions put to him concerning the case.

Tuesday, May 15th.

The testimonies of the accused continue with Lazaridis for once more (this time while weeping…) confesses to his participation in the kidnapping but denies his participation in the robbery outside ‘Masoutis’ supermarket.

He again mentions comrades Vaggelis and Polis and the contradictions are not absent (while at the beginning he says they were not at the grabbing, later he said that they were, etc.). Then testified Giorgos Haralabidis who is examined on evidence concerning the case in an extensive and harsh way by the judges (at some point the chairwoman exclaims “common Haralabidis”).

The same harshness is shown towards the rest of the family who are accused of misdemeanours, especially towards Giorgos younger sister. Then it was time for the prosecutor to make his proposal.

After making an extensive however cliché introduction (simulation of a penal trial with an ancient drama and legal speech with a dialectic), he proposes the guilt of the accused for the charges of criminal organization, snatching, blackmail and possession of explosive materials and their exemption from the charges of the robbery outside ‘Masoutis’ supermarket and thefts.

Among other things, he proposed the recognition of a mitigation (which was not recognized in the first degree trial) to Giorgos Haralabidis. Then followed the allocutions of the defence advocates, where until the end of the procedure 3 lawyers had time to speak (2 from the 3 of Vagglis and 1 of the 2 of Polis).

S.Fitrakis :starting from the speech of his client, spoke of the subjective political-ideological motives which led Vaggelis to his implications with Vassilis Paleokostas and claimed that was has come out of the case does not recommend implication in an organized group but instead occasional implication of an assistive character. And combined with the shaken socio-economic reality, he proposed to the judges to abandon the tough model of serving justice and to adopt a more balanced approach which at a legal level means either “abetting a criminal” or “simple complicity”. Then Ch.Ketikoglou spoke of the more technical points of the case and contradicted many of the arguments of the charges against Vaggelis. O.Vlontzou also did the same, and mentioned many of the contradictions included in the charges against Polis.

Wednesday, May 16th.

G.Rachiotis: first referred to the technical evidence of the case which the charges attribute to Polis, claiming the lack of material proof for the proving of objective substance in the attributed actions. Then he criticized the legal construction of a criminal organization (as created after 2001), which updates the criminality of the poor (even if it is just a coincidental gathering of people) contrasting it with criminality of the white collar which allows insults of the legitimate class which are caused by higher social layers.Finally he mentioned the motives which inspired his client to show solidarity to Vassilis Paleokostas, the vision of a just world which blurred in the legend that goes against the system and wins.

D.Vagianou: began from that spot, contrasting two poles: on one side an economic factor of the country (Milonas) and on the other, a legend of illegality, a social robber who incarnates the escape to freedom and the resistance to oppression (Paleokostas), with the two comrades coming from another world where the ideological motives pushed them to show their solidarity to Paleokostas.

Referring to the more legal evidence which involve Vaggelis, she placed a matter of doubt of the proof material, a matter which is by-passed (i.e. in the first trial) in front of an imposed need of dislocation of an action.

The advocate concluded as well to the enriched charge of the criminal organization, which in the case of Paleokostas does not exist in legal terms, but in a symbolic way: the dogma of collective responsibility drags down the rest of the accused and the symbolic force of the penal justice overshadows the actions of solidarity of the two people who have ideological motives.

Then, the young lawyer of Lazaridis (who replaced the graphic lawyer he had in the first degree trial), made a short allocution about her client saying that he is telling the truth and claiming the fact that he has two underage children. The defence advocate of Giorgos Haralabidis, M.Papadaki mainly mentioned the relationship developed by her client with Vassilis Paleokostas, as well as herself, when she met him while he was imprisoned.

The chairwoman of the court interrupted the advocate quite often and very obviously, since she didn’t want to hear a lot about the giving and interest Paleokostas shows to those who he loves and are in need. Finally spoke the lawyers of the family of Haralabidis who mentioned the harsh economic situation the family is going through, the constant struggle they are in and the fact that he has not occupied the persecutory authorities again. The court was interrupted for a couple of hours to make the decision. It returns to announce the guilt’s and exemptions: more or less accepts the proposal of the prosecutor, exemting additionally the accused also from the charge of possession of explosives. Then, the prosecutor makes some proposals about the sentence for the charges for which the accused were judges guilty.

The lawyers counter-propose smaller sentences and the court interrupts again for a short while to announce its final decision: Vaggelis and Polis again are “a set”.

Their final sentence is 12 years and 10 months (the charge of criminal organization was decreased to half and the other charges were decreased a little bit).

Lazaridis went down to 6 years and 11 months (for him, although acquitted of charges or some sentences were decreased; his sentence for criminal organization was increased a bit).

Giorgos Haralabidis went down to 4 years and 5 months (the sentence of simple compliance in the kidnapping was decreased and he was recognized with a mitigation).

The family of Haralabidis went down to 10 months with a 3 year probation.



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