An Athens court has exonerated 18 police officers accused by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras when he was still in the opposition of using excessive force during an anti-austerity protest in the summer of 2011.
As head of the now governing leftist SYRIZA party, Tsipras had filed suit against riot police officer who clashed with protesters outside Parliament on June 29, 2011, as lawmakers voted for a raft of fresh austerity measures that were part of Greece’s bailout program.
The suit, which was filed at the Supreme Court on July 1, 2011, by erstwhile SYRIZA heavyweight and lawyer Zoe Constantopoulou, claimed that the police’s use of tear gas and stun grenades was excessive and put the public’s health at risk.
“Such extensive criminal behavior by police officers cannot slip the attention of their superiors in rank but, rather, certainly manifests on their command and with their tolerance,” the lawsuit said.
The hearing against the 18 officers started in October 2017 and ended recently after numerous delays with a decision exonerating the police officers.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the officers’ union thanked the judges for “giving Caesar what is Caesar’s.”