Report from the trial of the armed group Revolutionary Struggle, Athens (Greece)
October 24 2011
Heavy accusations against the capitalist economic-social system and the urban system of power, the state and its persecutory mechanisms were made by the members of Revolutionary Struggle at the first (substantial) day of their trial, when the chairman gave them the word in order to place themselves in short concerning the charges. Their statements were anything but short. For over half an hour, Nikos Maziotis, Pola Roupa and Kostas Gournas (we mention them according to how they mentioned in the court brief and in the order they spoke) addressed charges against the system and defended their political choices, transforming the room of the terror-court into a step for their opinions.
“If some are proven innocent, you can be sure that we will shout it out loud”, was the only comment made by the chairman N.Davros, after the end of the speeches of all defendants. A classic line of an experienced judge, that can see that the system which he serves (we mean also the juridical system) is under charges and his place (and his disposal, rather) does not allow him to argue. The course of the trial will show, if the chairman will try to imitate Margaritis, who in the trial of the [Revolutionary Organisation] – 17 November [17N] constantly made ideological and political interventions, or if it will be limited to the formal procedural limits. In this first ideological-political attack of the members of Revolutionary Struggle (R.S.), in any case, Mr Davros limited himself to this self-conscious and substantially apologetic comment.
Earlier, public prosecutor A.Liogas presented concisely the “package” of charges, avoiding any personal “coloration”. However, henceforth the penal arsenal of urban power has been supplemented and it is itself politically and ideologically charged. Thus, for the first time after the big political trials of 17N and ELA (Revolutionary Popular Struggle), in the period of which organizations of armed revolutionary violence were presented as “criminal groups” and their judicial affairs supposedly had no political content, but were characterized by complete social and political demeaning (they presented things as if they were judging Mafioso’s, individuals of the “common penal justice”), in the Penal Justice the significance of “terrorism” and “terrorist organization” has passed, therefore the case immediately becomes political, since the significance of “terrorism” has by definition a political content.
As very correctly pointed out by P.Roupa, the first charge that burdens them, which is that they had created a terrorist organization and aimed at the inversion of order as we know it, constitutes the best confession that we are dealing with a political trial, that the defendants are political subjects and that they had political targets. You will not recognize this, however, continued P.Roupa, because if you recognized it, it would be as if you are admitted that there are people that support and fight for a different type of social organization. However, the whole of the capitalistic system is presented as the end of History and its theorists, such as Robert Malthus and Adam Smith, theorized the impossibility for any other economic and social system to exist beyond capitalism. The whole system tries to prove that the poverty of the proletarians is their fate and not the result of a system historically transitory.
The placements of N.Maziotis, P.Roupa and K.Gournas were based on certain fundamental axons: Firstly, on a harsh condemnation of capitalism, capitalists, the state, its mechanisms, its political representatives, the capitalistic exploitation and also the global system of imperialism. Secondly, of the specialization of this condemnation in the current period of crisis, internationally and in Greece (P.Roupa spoke of the role of the stock market that makes profit even with the mass death of people). Thirdly, the defence of the proletariat and its struggles, the prospect of social revolution and the need for armed struggle. Fourth, in defence of their organization as an organization that did not turn against the worker population and the reverse of all charges. Fifth, on an attack on urban Justice as an institution of the urban system of authority, a fact that shows that they will have a clearly competitive attitude against the court.
Two points of P.Roupa also present legal interest. First, she rejected as an abomination the charge that herself and Maziotis-Gournas are also the leaders of R.S., because they are all anarchists and despise hierarchy. When we fight to abolish hierarchy in society, she said, we would not have it in our organization. As she characteristically added, Gournas was added to the leaders in a second phase, when he took the political responsibility of his participation in the organization. If there were another five that took the political responsibility, they would have presented them as leaders as well. Second, she referred to the penal charges of all actions of the organization, that are attributed en masse to all defendants, without any evidence for the participation of each one. They have admitted publicly, she said, that they were watching Maziotis since 2003, consequently me too, since he is my companion and we lived together. Bring them all here, politicians such as Markogiannakis that has spoken of the organizing of our continuous surveillance, under covers, CIA agents, to say that we tore apart their safety measures and we humiliated them, and then I will admit the actions. I do not have any doubt, she said, that you will condemn us for the actions and for the “leadership”, without having any evidence, because this is the political order that the court has to obey.
Christofos Kortesis declared that he denies all of the charges and that his prosecution is because of his political identity as anarchist and on his participation in the anarchist struggles.
Vaggelis Stathopoulos declared, that he denies all of the charges and considers his prosecution political.
Sarantos Nikitopoulos, declared that for one and a half year he was imprisoned in an underground grave (he also made a more general condemnation of the prison system), without any evidence against him. He spoke of his integration into the anti-authoritarian movement from hie teenage years and referred to the charge of “terrorist” that they accuse him of, which is because of the fact that he clarified that he will not sign statements of repentance and loyalty, that he defended his friendship with the dead Lambros Foundas and with other defendants. Terrorism is poverty, hunger and exploitation, he mentioned in the end.
Costas Katsenos declared that he denies the charge of participation in the organization that was attributed to him.
Maria Beraha declared that she denies the charge, that she is not a member of R.S. and considers her prosecution a revenge for her spouse K.Gournas.
After the end of the first placements of the defendants, the list of the prosecution witnesses was read out (“celebrities”, such as Voulgarakis and Kokkinos, were absent once again). After a break, the advocate P.Fitrakis asked for the reading of the charges (referral order). The public prosecutor, as we saw, had limited himself to a synoptic presentation of the charges and characterized the demand of the advocate to read the entire official charge, because differently there is absolute nullity of the process, a “chore”!
If the process is a chore, then give them a sentence now so we can finish, was the well targeted answer of P.Fitrakis. The chairman reacted with procedural formality, declaring that the reading of the referral order is not a chore. This is why, after the refusal of the public prosecutor, he himself began reading the bulky referral order, which afterwards was assigned to the secretary of the seat.
After the reading of the order, N.Maziotis asked to speak, in order to say that what is reported on the official charges constitutes an honour for R.S. and its members feel proud of their participation in the organization. We, he said, we took the political responsibility of our participation in the organisation. You have the obligation to prove for each one of us separately their physical participation in each action and not to accuse us en masse for all the actions of the organisation.
Advocate Dafni Vagianou referred to the the hegemony of worldwide doctrine of collective responsibility. Thus is created a dangerous situation and collective responsibility tends to be solidified in the Penal Justice and the removal of a basic principle of Penal Justice, which is the connection of perpetrator-action. G.Rahiotis mentioned that Ch.Kortesis disputed the order in all phases of the pre-procedure and his demand was rejected. This is why he has made an application to the European Court of Human Rights, which has firstly become acceptable and will be discussed.
With a provocative oration, that not even in the slightest answered the arguments of the defendants and their advocates, the public prosecutor said that the charge is clear and certain, with the significance that it determines persons and actions attributed to them. (Which means, since it says they all did it and is repeated separately for each one, the order is clear!). The public prosecutor added in his very short placement (with the logic of “spray, wipe, and you’re finished”), saying that the order in its mechanism is more analytic than it should be! This is why he proposed to reject the objection of vagueness.
Anna Paparousou answered to the public prosecutor with added legal arguments, while G.Rahiotis speaking secondly brought a characteristic example: according to the brief, at the police station of Nea Ionia only one individual was shot. You cannot, therefore, attribute the same thing to seven individuals.
The trial will continue Tuesday 1st of November, at 9.00am
Translation by boubourAs/actforfreedomnow!
Tags: Christofos Kortesis, Costas Katsenos, Greece, Kostas Gournas, Lambros Foundas, Maria Beraha, Nikos Maziotis, Pola Roupa, Revolutionary Struggle, Sarantos Nikitopoulos, Trial, Vaggelis Stathopoulos
This entry was posted on Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 1:14 pm and is filed under Prison Struggle.