The trial against Golden Dawn candidate MP Themis Skordeli, for the stabbing of an Afghan immigrant in September 2011, was postponed for the 8th time.
By Yannis Baskakis & Maria Dima
“When I saw the first wound, which was lower on my body, I was not shocked, but when I saw the second wound near my heart, I turned to stone. I thought I wouldn’t manage to get to the hospital. I thought I was directly hit in the heart and that I was going to die soon.” Ali from Afghanistan was stabbed in 2011 in Agios Panteleimonas. By members of Golden Dawn. A trial in which three of them are prosecuted – one of whom, Themis Skordeli, a candidate MP for Golden Dawn – was delayed yesterday for the 8th time.
The secret address
We met Ali at the house of one of his friends. His address remains secret. “I am very afraid that they will find me and beat me again. I can’t go out for a walk. I am constantly indoors. Every time I have to go to court, I get nervous and afraid”, are some of his words.
It all began in the 16th of September of 2011. It was 9:30 pm in Pergamou street. Three Afghan immigrants were sitting on the steps of a house. They were waiting for a friend. Instead of him, a group of fifteen showed up, first asking the three friends questions about their descent and then attacking them. “Most of them were wearing black t-shirts, carrying helmets in their hands as well as sticks. With a bottle of beer I was first hit on my head. What I instinctively did was to cover my head, so I did not notice the knife with which I was stabbed.”
Ali was the one that did not manage to escape. He was caught on the steps. He was stabbed twice in the chest and two more times in his back. “When I went to the hospital, the doctors were in panic because they thought that the stabs had hit the heart; I heard them shouting to each other, ‘he was hit in the heart!’. I was quickly examined within ten minutes, and these, I had thought, were the last ten minutes of my life”.
Meanwhile, the perpetrator is driven to the police department. There, other members of Golden Dawn join him. One of Ali’s two other friends recognizes one man and a woman as perpetrators of the attack. Prosecuted are Giannis Loukianos, Giorgos Markoulakis and Themis Skordeli, who, even though they had to go through immediate trial since they got caught in the legislated timeframe of 48 hours, were eventually not tried even yesterday, almost three years after the incident.
Ali stayed in hospital for 16 days. Despite his severe injuries, the public prosecutor prosecuted the three for a minor crime: a dangerous physical injury, and not for attempted murder, which would be a felony. In addition to the severity of the injuries, however, the three prosecuted made a series of ludicrous excuses in order to delay the date of their trial.
They refused to attend
Themis Skordeli allegedly faced … problems of mental health, then Loukianos had other health problems, then a crucial witness was missing, the police officer Ioannis Dimos, who, however, had not even been called for the trial, then the translator was missing…
Yesterday, in the courthouse only Yiannis Loukianos showed up, and only after his attorney Vasilis Kapernaros urged him to do so. Kapernaros stated that his client does not belong to the Golden Dawn. The other two prosecuted did not even come near the court building. They allegedly feared the people who were gathered outside the courthouse for standing by the Afghan immigrants. They even refused to appear in the court when the Head of the Courthouse Security sent 20 police officers to guard them to the courthouse and back. Their excuse was that that police force was small, and they asked to be accompanied by a riot police squad. Finally, the trial was delayed to the 22nd of January, 2014. “I can’t stand it anymore. Constant postponements and then again postponements. The only thing I ask for is justice to be served. Nothing more” Ali says.
[Translated from ‘Efimerida ton Syntakton’ newspaper, 11/06/2013. Available online at: http://www.efsyn.gr/?p=59953]