In the dock of the accused sat Konstantinos Kontomous, who had been identified by eyewitnesses as one of the eight perpetrators that invaded the barbershop of a Pakistani immigrant, attacking with knives one of the two employees and a customer, while afterwards they burned the barbershop.
By Afroditi Tziantzi
The trial of Konstantinos Kontomous, accused of participating in racist attacks by a nazi battalion squad in Metamorfosi on September 2012, continued on the 5th of February, 2014, with statements by witnesses at the Mixed Jury Court. The long trial was interrupted at 4 pm and will continue on February 26.
Konstantinos Kontomous was arrested last February, almost five months after the racist attacks, and it was the first announcement that the Services for the Confrontation of Racial Violence ever published, which launched its function after the murder of Sahjat Lukman in Petralona by Golden Dawn members.
The fatal night
Kontomous, who is currently 20 years old, has been identified by eyewitnesses as one of the eight perpetrators that, at the night of September 10, invaded a barbershop of a Pakistani immigrant, attacking with knives one of the two Pakistani employees and a Greek customer, while right afterwards they burned the shop with an improvised incendiary device. As testified on February 5, 2014 by neighbors that saw the attack, at least one of the perpetrators was half-naked and had a tattoo that wrote “Golden Dawn”.
The case was then made known by anti-fascist organizations, while on September 22 a massive anti-fascist march took place in Metamorfosi, which denounced the nazi attacks. The same night after the march, a pogrom followed, and as a result of it, four Pakistanis were stabbed in Iraklio and Metamorfosi and another Pakistani was robbed in Likovrisi.
On February 5, 2014, the Greek client that had been stabbed testified, confirming his testimony at the police, according to which Kontomous attacked him, while there was a second person that stabbed him as well. In that way, the alibi of the accused collapsed. According to information from the case file, the accused had claimed that during the night of the attack he was in Corfu.
“They asked me “where are you from” and they stabbed me in the abdomen and in the heart,” as R.A., immigrant from Pakistan who lives 20 years in Greece, testified. He was among the victims of the pogrom that took place on September 22 and who nearly died, as the stab was just one centimeter from his heart.
The testimony by the victim’s Greek doctor was enlightening; the night of the attack, he received a phone call by his patient’s cell phone: “A Greek young voice told me: “Your friend X… is dead.” I found that peculiar because he said a wrong name and he was Greek, while, all these years, my patient is hanging out only with his compatriots. After that, I called him back myself to ask for explanations. With a very angry tone he told me: “He didn’t die. We killed the Pakistani and we will take care of the others and you for giving them job. I am a member of Golden Dawn and I will kill you all.” They thought that I was their employer.”
The doctor’s testimony implicates Kontomous as well, as calls from the stolen cell phone were allegedly made to individuals among his friends, as resulting from the lifting of the telephone privacy that was conducted.
The police had not even published announcement about the racist attacks, while some days after the barbershop’s arson, the New Democracy MP Adonis Georgiadis submitted question to the Parliament, demanding to investigate if the victim of the attack “has legal documents or is illegal immigrant.” Immigrants who were undocumented and denounced the attacks, received the document of deportation the very next day; however, the civil action succeeded their stay in order to testify at the trial.
“This case opens a window to the society so that it will see what the activity of the battalion squads of Golden Dawn means: attacks, arsons, carrying of weapons, attempted homicides,” as the advocate of the civil action, Thanasis Kampagiannis, commented at “Ef.Syn.”
The battalion squads were acting undisturbed during that period, strengthened by the -then newly acquired- representation of Golden Dawn in the Parliament and the police immunity. It was only after Lukman’s murder that the Services for the Confrontation of Racial Violence functioned, announcing Kondomous’ arrest and bringing his photograph to public attention. However, all the rest perpetrators of the pogroms still escape.
“We believe that there has been insufficient investigation and we ask for the complete clarification of the case and for all the perpetrators of the specific acts to be found,” the advocate of the civil action concluded. On February 26, the police officers that conducted the suspects’ recognitions are called to testify, while the Pakistani employee that recognized Kontomous, the barbershop’s owner and the relatives of the accused will testify as well.
Translated from ‘Efimerida ton Syntakton’ newspaper. Originally published 06/02/2014.