The arrest on Thursday of two suspects, aged 22 and 23, expanded the scope of the investigation into Tuesday night’s attack on a police officer during a riot in the Athens suburb of Nea Smyrni.
Investigators are closely questioning another 22-year-old male suspect whose wallet was reportedly found at the scene of the incident, as well as a 30-year-old Greek-Iranian who was allegedly pointed out by a witness as being the one who started the attack.
The 30-year-old has proclaimed his innocence and asked that his mobile phone records are checked to ascertain that he was nowhere near the scene of the riot on Tuesday night. His lawyer, meanwhile, claims that the witness who spoke out against him has a personal grudge against his client.
More than a dozen suspects are being questioned in connection with the attack on the police officer, who was pulled of his motorcycle and set on by mob during rioting on the sidelines of a protest rally against an earlier incident of police violence in the residential suburb’s main square.
The 27-year-old police officer sustained injuries to his head and other parts of his body that required hospital treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.
Investigators, meanwhile, are exploring the possibility that Tuesday’s riot was organized by soccer hooligans following numerous leads on social media indicating that four rival fan clubs may have joined forces briefly for an orchestrated attack on the police.