Ten­sions rise as GD trial shifts to PAME at­tack

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The chap­ter of the on­go­ing trial against Golden Dawn re­lated to an al­leged at­tack by mem­bers of the far-right party against sup­port­ers of the com­mu­nist-af­fil­i­ated PAME union in Septem­ber 2013 caused ten­sion both in­side and out­side the Athens Ap­peals Court yes­ter­day.

In­side the court, judges were forced to call a brief re­cess when ten­sion mounted dur­ing the tes­ti­mony of key wit­ness Sotiris Poulikoyian­nis, who sug­gested that the at­tack against the PAME ac­tivists was “or­ga­nized.” The head of the At­tica Me­tal­work­ers’ Union told judges that he and a group of around 20 PAME sup­port­ers were putting up fly­ers for a con­cert in Pi­raeus when they were sur­rounded by some 50 GD mem­bers and vi­ciously beaten. Poulikoyian­nis claimed that he was privy to ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing that the at­tack­ers were act­ing on be­half of busi­ness in­ter­ests look­ing to weaken the union’s hold over the ship re­pair in­dus­try in the port of Perama, a sub­urb of Pi­raeus.

Out­side the court, mean­while, self-styled an­ar­chists threw stones and sticks at Golden Dawn sup­port­ers gath­ered on cen­tral Alexan­dras Av­enue, with sev­eral climb­ing onto the rooftops of nearby build­ings and launch­ing at­tacks from that van­tage point. The vi­o­lence es­ca­lated when riot po­lice in­ter­vened, lead­ing to the in­jury of three riot of­fi­cers. Two plain­clothes se­cu­rity of­fi­cers were also as­saulted.

The in­juries prompted the union rep­re­sent­ing the cap­i­tal’s po­lice force to file suit against the corp’s po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship for fail­ing to pro­tect of­fi­cers in the line of duty.

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