Protests to mark third anniversary of teen’s murder

Protests will be held in Athens today to mark the third anniversary of the killing of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos by a policeman in the central neighbourhood of Exarchia.

More than 7,000 police officers will be deployed in a similar scheme to the one adopted by the force for the November 17 rally to mark the bloody 1973 student uprising against the junta.

At least two rallies are planned for the capital — one by students is to start at noon outside Athens University and a second, by anti-establishment protesters, is expected to start at 6 p.m. near central Syntagma Square.

Much of the center will be cordoned off and motorists diverted from major thoroughfares for much of the day. Two metro stations will also close in the afternoon. Panepistimio station will close at 5 p.m. and Syntagma station at 6 p.m.

Police have been instructed to carry out preventive inspections on suspicious individuals who might be carrying Molotov cocktails or other weapons.

Epaminondas Korkoneas, the officer who shot Grigoropoulos, was handed a life sentence after being found guilty of murder with malice aforethought.

Vassilis Saraliotis, a special guard who was found guilty of being an accomplice to the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos in Exarchia in 2008, was released on parole in October.

Saraliotis originally received a 10-year-old prison sentence for his involvement in the Grigoropoulos case. The murder triggered some of the worst rioting ever seen in Greece.

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