Union reps demand felony charges against 'squat' suspects shown throwing cinder blocks off 2nd storey balcony against police

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 13:19
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Representatives of law enforcement unions in Greece on Wednesday submitted a memorandum with the supreme court's chief prosecutor essentially requesting that charges against a handful of defendants arrested last week during a police operation to evacuate a building "squat" in central Athens be upgraded to felony counts.

Television footage of the police operation showed balaclava-clad people inside the two-storey building, in the Koukaki district south of the Acropolis site, throwing paint and objects, including cinder blocks, from a second-floor balcony at riot police attempting to break through the front door.

Nearly two dozen suspects, including three French nationals and a 16-year-old teen, were arrested Saturday evening at the site, with misdemeanor charges filed by relevant prosecutors on Monday. All of the suspects were freed pending trial early next month.

Union representatives also requested that prosecutors be held accountable for downgrading the offenses allegedly committed by the arrested suspects.

Speaking on public television on Tuesday evening, Citizens' Protection Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis criticized prosecutors in the case for both freeing the 20 suspects on bail and for failing to take into account the footage of the operation, adding that fatal injuries would have resulted from the violence on the part of the building occupiers.

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