Manolada shooting verdict to be reviewed

The Supreme Court is to review the decision by judges in Patra to acquit two of the four men charged over the shooting of 28 migrant workers at a strawberry farm in Nea Manolada last year.

Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani Thursday asked for a copy of the verdict as soon as it is published. The judgement of the Patra court could be overturned and a new trial held if Koutzamani deems that evidence was not taken into account or the judgement was not sound.

There was an outcry on Wednesday after the owner of a strawberry farm in the Peloponnese, where the mostly Bangladeshi migrants were shot in April las year, was cleared of any wrongdoing along with one of his foremen. The two other foremen convicted of aggravated assault and illegal use of firearms. One was handed a jail term of 14 years and seven months, while the other received a sentence of eight years and seven months. Both appealed the court ruling and were freed.

The decision sparked an angry exchange in Parliament Thursday, where SYRIZA, PASOK and Democratic Left condemned the verdict issued by the Patra court. SYRIZA’s Nikos Voutsis said it was “shameful,” while Constantinos Triantafyllos of PASOK there was “a feeling that justice was not done.”

New Democracy’s ex-Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, however, defended the court and argued that the foremen had shot into the air because they felt threatened by the workers.

“You prefer to interpret the outcome of the trial as a conspiracy between judges and the jury rather than respect the unanimous verdict,” he said, pointing out that all three judges and four jury members had arrived at the same conclusion.