Portuguese artist Vasco Gargalo sketches Giorgos Roupakias (not seen) as he testifies before a criminal appeals court in Athens Thursday.
Showing no sign of remorse, Giorgos Roupakias, the man charged with the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas in September 2013, described the incident as a “simple homicide” that has been “blown out of proportion” in his testimony Thursday before a panel of judges in a packed Athens courtroom.
Roupakias, an active Golden Dawn supporter, sought to refute the charge that the killing was premeditated, claiming that he had never heard of Fyssas before the night of September 18, 2013.
He said he was heading to another incident when he drove outside the cafe where the victim was sitting with friends.
“Everything happened very fast,” he told the court, going on to claim that as soon as he parked his car, Fyssas approached him with three or four other men.
“There was a distance of four meters between us. He [Fyssas] probably remembered me and called out ‘what is it?’ and came towards me.”
Roupakias said he had a knife in the glove compartment.
“I opened the car door, I pulled the hand break and took the knife I had...” which, he said, he used to “defend” himself from Fyssas’ alleged punches.
“I raised my hands up high so I could protect myself. He was taller than me,” he said.
However, he could not explain why a forensic investigator failed to find any signs that he had defended himself or been hit in an altercation.
He then said he first stabbed Fyssas in the leg to make him “back off” and then stabbed him a second time in the heart “when he fell.”
Even though she has been present throughout the trial over the past four years, the mother of Fyssas, Magda, did not attend court Thursday, as reports said she could not bear to listen to the account of her son’s murder.
Roupakias was released from custody under strict conditions on March 2016 as he had completed the maximum of 18 months in pretrial detention.
More than four years after the trial against GD started in April 2015, the court proceedings entered a new phase in June, with the defendants finally taking the stand.
The trial is expected to continue until the end of July and will then adjourn until September.