In his testimony, the former mayor of Thessaloniki named P. Psomiadis as the instigator of the attack in May 2018, in Lefko Pyrgos square
After seven postponements, the central trial for the attack against the former mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris, during a commemoration event for the Pontian Genocide, in May 2018, in Lefkos Pyrgos square, began today before the Single-member Misdemeanor Court of Thessaloniki.
Twelve people were referred to the court bench to be tried, among them the former prefect of Thessaloniki and regional governor of Central Macedonia Panagiotis Psomiadis, who – according to the indictment – had used derogatory and disparaging characteristics against Yannis Boutaris, urging the perpetrators to act against him.
P. Psomiadis is being prosecuted for incitement to commit a misdemeanor, while the rest of his co-accused are facing, as the case may be, acts of disturbing the peace and damage to foreign property. All were identified from video material examined by EL.AS. from the point of attack. Among the defendants is a police officer who was at the event off-duty (as a private citizen).
“The mob needs a “chick” to break out”
In his testimony, the former mayor of Thessaloniki named P. Psomiadis as the instigator of the attack, pointing out that, after insulting him, calling him a “political tramp”, he gestured with his hands, urging the gathered crowd to move against him with insults and blows. “The mob needs a “chick” to break out. He (Psomiadis) did his job to stir up the people,” said Mr. Boutaris, describing what took place that afternoon.
“There were three scattered groups in the crowd […] With that nod they joined […] They came, surrounded me, started pushing me and hitting me – some from behind, others from the front and the side. I fell on the road. I didn’t understand who they were. Arriving at the vehicle, one broke the windshield,” testified the former mayor.
He noted that if he did not have the security officer with him, he would have had a problem. As he said, he suffered bruises and went to the emergency hospital for first aid. As he was shown photographs of the episode, he unreservedly identified the accused police officer as “one of the people who was beating me”. Going back in time, Mr. Boutaris mentioned that there was a climate against him at the time, because he had previously made a statement about the Pontian Genocide, which he today described as “incorrect”, saying that he has already apologized.
On 7/2 the trial will continue
The trial was adjourned until 7/2, when it will continue with the apologies of the accused. A total of seven of them are present, among them P. Psomiadis, while the rest are represented by attorneys. Most deny the charges and some accept some of them.
For the same case, there have been convictions against three persons, who were arrested through the spontaneous procedure.
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