Today’s session was the first in which Kostas Katsenos came on his own, without handcuffs and without the escort of armed cops. He was also released a few days ago, by the decision of the appropriate Juridical Council.
Of the 23 witnesses called, the names of which were read at the beginning of the procedure by the chairman, only 6 were present. One was justifiably absent (he works on a ship travelling far from Greece), while some were not found by the cops who went to perform their violent appearance. From the four cops who were called after the insistent demand of the accused, in order to clarify what happened at the ministry of Economy, only one was present who was actually the most unimportant. One has died; the officer of the phone centre of the police sent a message that she is on leave of confinement and an officer sent a paper that he suffers from… lumbago and is on a four day leave! The only witness, the special guard of the door of the ministry of Economy Pantelis Bliatsios, appeared with an especially weak memory, although –as he admitted- a problem was created an he was called to testify in the internal investigation carried out by GADA (without being involved as an accused).
From the questions they asked him he “remembered” exactly what happened. About 15-20 minutes before the explosion, a cop car went, told him to look at Nikis road in case he finds a bomb (!) and close of the two corners of Nikis road (the corners of Mitropleos and Ermou) with cones. Although, there had been two warning calls to “Eleftherotypia” newspaper and a third, confirmation call from the police to the newspaper (as testified by the operator of the newspaper), and they had been informed that the explosive mechanism was placed on the corner of Mitropoleos and Fillelinon street! Instead of emptying the area and especially Mitroploleos and Fillelinon street, they made the cop close of Nikis road, where the main entrance to the ministry is! He couldn’t even remember if he made sure the ministry was evacuated! It was revealed however, after an intervention by N,Maziotis, who quoted the trial brief, that because at the time there were refurbishment work going on inside the ministry, there were four workers inside, three Pakistani and one Albanian, for whom no one cared about! As testified by the guard, one cop car came by then another one, told him to set some cones and then left to go on the side of Syntagma square, where he does not know what they did. ‘What authority did you have, to look for the bomb or evacuate the area?’, asked P.Roupa.
‘Evacuate the area’ replied the guard, only as it was proven, he did not evacuate anything. ‘And what if the bomb was camouflaged, hidden, and you couldn’t find it, would you have left the people inside?’ came back P.Roupa. The guard remained speechless. From the testimony of the dead driver of the cop car, which was read out, came out the same description. At 5.38 they were notified from the headquarters, went to the ministry, put cones on the two corners of Nikis road and then went to Syntagma square to “close it off”, while at 6.05 there was a powerful explosion, after which they found with small injuries an Albanian man and a Greek woman, who they suggested to go to the hospital with an ambulance. So, they had about 30 minutes at their disposal and did absolutely nothing! They closed off Nikis road and went to Syntagma square and waited in the cop car! I think the witness was honest, commented P.Roupa on the cops testimony. He testified what had been written also on the communique of the organization about how the police acted.
They made repeated blunders, continuous mistakes. Although the message was clear about where the mechanism was placed and they had confirmed with a phone call to “Eleftherotypia”, they went elsewhere, to the back side, looked for the mechanism, did not find it and thought that it does not exist! Shouldn’t the responsibility of the police be shown in the trial brief? asked advocate D.Vagianou. Why is there no investigation towards that direction as well? In the trial brief there is a predetermined position as to who are responsible, orientated solely to the side of the accused.
Later, the prosecutor indirectly answered replied to the advocate, stating that there might be responsibilities on others too, such as the police, but this does not concern the court because there are no accused cops! From the four more witnesses for the same case, two of them were 30 second witnesses. An owner of a tourist office, who went long after the explosion and they told him to testify in order to get a compensation for the broken windows (which he didn’t get) and the janitor of an office building on Othonos street, where windows were some windows were also broken, which he only saw later. Why did they call them? Since these people had nothing to testify? Obviously hoping that they could create impressions with the… talk of windows.
The other two witnesses were substantial and were catapults for the criminal responsibilities of the police. A worker at a new stand on the corner of Mitropoleos and Fillelinon (across the post offices where the mechanism was placed) testified that he was there since 5.30 in the morning, that no one told him anything, neither did he see anything unusual, such as heavy police movement. He didn’t see any cops around, except for a couple of cops cars, which is a usual image of that area.
’For us it was a usual, quiet day’, he said. A worker at café restaurant “Neon”, also right across the spot of the explosion, testified also that she was there from 5.30 in the morning, no one told her anything, she didn’t notice any movement, didn’t realize anything, until the explosion took happened and she saw the window smashing! Two other, completely irrelevant witnesses testified. A retired cop for the Voulgarakis case, who was called because at some point had testified that he saw a couple with jeans and sweatshirts sitting in front of a water tap on Lykavittos! ‘Look at the accused, although you forget easy’, said the prosecutor who is trying to gather the pieces of the wreck of a court order composed by his colleague Makropoulos. The man turned around, looked at the accused, did not recognize anyone, and left. The last witness was a manager of the Citibank branch in Psihiko area, just went at night to let the fire brigade in and didn’t even know what kind of damages were caused to the bank! And she was the only one called for this case… All this lasted barely an hour. After that, in order to schedule the next two sessions, spoke the prosecutor to propose about the calling of witnesses demanded by the members of the RS.
The prosecutor, seeing that the charge list is full of holes, seeing that the total of the witnesses that have been called has nothing to testify, seeing the persistence of the accused to call people of the institutions (politicians who have made relevant statements, cops who have given preliminary and interrogative testimonies, business executives), people of the state and not of the revolutionary movement, tried to fix his originally rejective position for all those proposed as witnesses, by proposing to call a few.
Although the three accused had proposed to call Markogiannakis, Korantis, Papageorgiou, Balakos and Horianopoulos, in order to testify if Maziotis and Roupa were systematically under surveillance (this has been stated by the first two in public statements of theirs), the prosecutor proposed to call only Balakos and Horianopoulos, because they know, while the political superiors are simply informed by the executives of the services. This proposal was even presented in a way, as a favour towards the accused, because, in his opinion, there is no reason to call anyone! Concerning the explosion at the Stock exchange, the prosecutor proposed to call only the supervisor of the security company and the security guard from the nearby building of ‘Alliance’ and to deny all other proposals. He added, even, a proposal of his own, to call a cleaning lady from a nearby building, who “mentions something about an injury”! For the explosion at the ministry of Employment he proposed to call the cops of a police car and one more witness (‘say it was the person who took an order from a cop to move the bomb’, said N.Maziotis, making the prosecutor admit that that’s actually who it is).
For the Voulgarakis case he considered that the subject is over and that’s why there is no reason to order the violent presentation of a cop who disdained to appear although he was called. For the attack on the american embassy he proposed that four witnesses are called (no one has been called!). Who mentioned that they saw something suspicious! But not the ambassador and the head of security for the embassy, to tell what kind of danger resulted from the rocket. He also proposed to call one of the cops in the cop car for the explosion at the Citibank in Psihiko and the head of the police bomb squad for the bombs which didn’t go off at Shell and the headquarters of Citibank (the court order falsely claims that the mechanisms did not go off because the police neutralized them).
Concerning the calling of P.Panagiotopoulos and G.Alogoskoufis, who have made statements about the character of the actions of the RS, as well as the American ambassador, the prosecutor proposed to deny these demands of the accused, because ‘their presence would only cause tension’! ‘Is this what you are really afraid of?’ commented N.Maziotis, while P.Roupa replied ‘What tension? No tension’. Based on the frame of thought of the prosecutor, none of the 87 witnesses called by Makropoulos had anything to contribute, commented angrily N.Maziots. 37 have testified and no one contributed anything. Not even one recognition of someone accused. Why did he call them then? They should all come here and testify, since you called them. Maybe one will contradict the other.
The life of eight people is at stake here, there are charges that carry the life sentence, why not dedicate time? Why shouldn’t the head of security of the american embassy come, when you speak of endangering human lives? If it is so, why did you call the 87? If you tried us in one minute, it would have been 25 years combined and that’s it. Is this a court or a procedure? P.Roupa argued in support of the calling of the political figures, briefly reminding their statements. We are not calling them in order to create a show and cause tension, she added. Was there any tension when Voulgarakis came? Let them come here, so there can be a dialogue, so we can see if it’s about actions of common crime or political actions.
There is no way the then Foreign minister Bakogianni would break the protocol and run to the american embassy for actions of common crime. There is no way Condoleezza Rice would wake up Bush saying to him “we are being attacked in Greece”. Did the american president deal with common crimes? D.Vagianou summarized the three legal criteria which are fulfilled by the proposals for the calling of specific witnesses. First, it is the political character of the actions attributed to the accused, which is also important for the legal definition of the subjective element of the actions. Second, the ascribed behaviour. Maziotis and Roupa have accepted their participation in the organization, defend their ideas, but legally this does not translate into ascribed behaviour of actions. If this is not investigated, we will go to logics of collective responsibility, which we do not yet have in the Justice.
Third, is the endangerment of people. It is not right to establish an abstract danger and end it. It is not possible to admit that it’s the fault of the police who did not do what they were supposed to, but it is definitely yours for placing a bomb. How will the court judge the matters on trial, if there is no proof? commented M.Daliani. We cannot, for example, call witnesses for the american embassy with only criterion if they saw suspects. Should there not be witnesses to say if there was any danger for people? D.Vagianou added that the calling of officers of the anti-terrorist will crash onto service barriers, as happened with Papathanasakis who refused to name which of his staff transferred the information he called upon, while Markogiannakis must be called because he made some statements beyond the service barriers.
Ch.Ladis argued in favour of the demand, although –as he said – K.Katsenos who he defends has not demanded any witnesses. Article 187A (the founding stone of the ‘anti-terrorist’ legislation) confronts the court with a question: is it to be proven or is it considered self-evident since the accused are of those people characterized as “terrorists”? Shouldn’t we investigate if foundational structures of the state were disrupted, if the population was terrorized etc? In my opinion, concluded the advocate, we must investigate if there was even a common danger to things, just like in the case of the american embassy.
P.Roupa noted that in her opinion it is a fact that the “anti-terrorist” law confuses the social interest with the interest of the dominators. Markogiannakis should definitely be called to testify, because with the cops we will go into a procedure of calling upon classified information, as happened with Papathanasakis, she concluded.
After a half hour break, the court announced that it will call as witnesses those who the prosecutor proposed, adding Markogiannakis. The chairman added also the standard, that he will call other witnesses, if there is a need. When asked by N.Maziotis what is going to happen with the two cops for the ministry of Economy, who were called and did not appear claiming health reasons, the chairman answered that right now there is no reason to call them again!