NEWS

Court unanimously clears Rouvikonas members of link to drug dealer’s murder

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Two leading members of anarchist group Rouvikonas were unanimously cleared of their alleged connection to the murder of a 36-year-old Egyptian man in the downtown Athens district of Exarchia in June 2016.

Nikos Matarangas had been accused of killing the victim and Giorgos Kalaitzidis of being a moral accomplice. 

The 36-year-old victim, an alleged drug dealer known as “Habibi,” was gunned down at the intersection of Themistokleous and Eressos streets, with a group calling itself Armed Militia Groups subsequently claiming responsibility for the murder. 

Matarangas had been charged based on the testimony of two witnesses who claim to have recognized him even though the two men on the motorcycle from which the shots were fired were both masked. Kalaitzidis had claimed that the 36-year-old tried to stab him during a scuffle four months before the shooting. Both had rejected the charges, saying it was a “frame-up by the state.” 

The evidence against the two men had been submitted to the prosecution by the police four years after the crime. 

At the trial, the prosecutor explained in detail that there was no evidence that could substantiate the accusations against the two men, noting that the main witness in the case refuted all her original allegations when she testified in court. 

“She cannot be considered a credible witness,” the prosecutor said, adding that, without her testimony, this case would “perhaps have been filed” before reaching the court. The prosecutor also spoke of an “intense prevailing atmosphere” surrounding the activities of the two anarchists which made them a target.

As for the victim, he was described as a drug dealer who was terrorizing the district of Exarcheia.