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Court clears 18 riot policemen of charges for excessive violence in June 2011 protest

All the Greek police officers on trial for charges of excessive use of violence and tear gas  against anti-austerity protests on 28. and 29. June 2011 have been found not guilty. The One-Member First Instance Court in Athens ruled on Wednesday that all 18 police officers were not guilty. The lawsuit was filed by SYRIZA leader, Alexis Tsipras, who was member of the country’s opposition back then, and more than one hundred citizens and union representatives.

The mass demonstrations took place when the Medium-term program of the first bailout agreement was to be voted in the Palriament. It was the time of Indignant Greeks who had camped at Syntagm Square and held daily protests against austerity measures.

In particular, the case came to trial following a complaint by Alexis Tsipras, and several other citizens, unionists and agencies accusing 18 police officers of riot police (MAT) and motorcycled police (DELTA units), including squads chiefs, ‘the natural and moral instigators’ for excessive use of violence against the number of demonstrators during the two-day strike On 28-29 June 2011.

The accusations against the 18 police officers concerned offenses of dangerous bodily harm against sovereignty and confrontation and the exposure of civilians at risk.

More than 500 people were injured during the two days.

Police chased protesters and fired tear gas even inside the Metro station <Syntagma> creating a dangerously suffocating atmosphere, while it attacked also citizens who were just hanging out in the touristic cafeterias and restaurants in the area.

Tear gas, flash grenades, batons were massively used as if there was no tomorrow and they had to get rid of their arsenal.

The victims of the police violence had submitted to the case file pictures of injured and police violence, as well as of tear gas canisters and stun grenades and certificates from public hospitals where they were treated.

After 7 years and 14 court sessions, all 18 police  officers were found not guilty.

More on the indictment here in Greek.

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