Thessaloniki 4 Not Guilty!

The four comrades, including UK anarchist Simon Chapman, have been found not guilty in Greek court of the charges dating back to the EU Summit protests and riots in Thessaloniki in 2003.

from a comrade in Greece:

ALL four of the defendants are free. All the initial charges were dropped apart from “distinguished defiance of authority” which was then reduced to “minor defiance of authority”. It is a misdemeanour, carrying a 6-month suspended sentence, but they won’t be imprisoned unless of course someone is charged again during these 6 months. This was the best the juries could ever do, since they had to be charged of something, in order to justify the 6 months they had spent in prison back in 2003.

Small correction: these 500 euros is to cover trial expenses. The Europeans (Simon and Fernando) signed a paper confirming they are EU citizens and they promise to pay some other time, Kastro is an Athens permanent citizen and Michalis doesn’t need to pay it, since he is in prison already.

Several people were arrested after the anti-capitalist protests in Thessaloniki in 2003 including UK activist Simon Chapman.  Video evidence showed that bags of petrol bombs had clearly been placed around Simon who was also badly beaten during the arrest.  After a 7 week hunger strike and huge Europe wide solidarity campaign all of the arrested were released without charged.  In 2008 Greek prosecutors resurrected the charges and all of the defendants were sentenced in their absence to sentences of between four and eight years in prison, with Simon receiving the longest sentence.  Despite the testimony of over a dozen police officers all were found not guilty by a jury at an appeal hearing last week.  Simon is now back in the UK with his family.  For the full story visit:  http://www.salonikisolidarity.org.uk/

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