Trial over death of bank workers in 2010 riot starts with colleagues' testimony

A photograph from the Athens riot on May 6, 2010, shows Marfin Bank workers on the balcony calling for help.

TAGS: Justice, Crime

The trial into the deadly May 2010 firebombing of a central Athens branch of Marfin Bank, which resulted in the death of three employees, started on Monday with harrowing testimony from the victims’ colleagues.

Angeliki Papathanasopoulou, 32, Paraskevi Zoulia, 35, and Epameinondas Tsakalis, 36, died in a blaze caused by a Molotov cocktail which chief defendant Theodoros Sipsas, 34, is accused of throwing into the bank during a large anti-austerity protest.

One of the workers, who had climbed onto the building’s second-floor balcony as the ground-floor area filled with smoke, said he saw a young man “throw something through a smashed window on street level... and the fire starting right after.”

“One of my colleagues shouted, ‘There are people in here,’ just in case they didn’t know. We heard people shouting, ‘Burn them,’” the witness told the court.

“I found [Epameinondas] on the stairs. He ran out of breath. Angeliki hadn’t moved from her desk,” said another bank worker who had climbed up to the balcony. “On that day, 21 of us came out alive. Three did not.”

The trial was adjourned until October 14.