Tests point to direct shot by policeman

Tests comparing the substances found on the bullet that killed 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos on December 6 and materials taken from the scene of the shooting in Exarchia, which sparked this month's riots, suggest that the policeman charged with the boy's murder shot at him and not in the air, as he has claimed, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. The results of the laboratory tests, due to be made public next week, reportedly suggest that the bullet hit a surface less than 40 centimeters above the ground before entering the boy's body. «There is no evidence that a shot was fired in the air,» a source told Kathimerini. In a reconstruction of the killing in Exarchia, police officers gathered samples of various materials that might bear traces of silicon dioxide, a material found on the bullet that is broadly used in manufacturing. In a related development yesterday, eight youths arrested during last Thursday's riots in protest at Grigoropoulos's death defended themselves on charges of possessing explosives and attempting grievous bodily harm. Of five brought before a magistrate, one was remanded in custody. The other three were released. Yesterday saw a lull in protests after a weekend in which anarchists clashed with police and tried to torch a Christmas tree in Syntagma Square. The largest rally was in Peristeri, western Athens, where hundreds protested a second teen shooting last week. The 16-year-old was shot in the hand in an attack that does not appear to have had anything to do with police. There was also a protest concert outside Athens University but there had been no reports of violence late yesterday.