NEWS

Defense: Police beat Tzortzatos

An Athens electrician accused of participation in the November 17 terrorist group was badly beaten during his detention in police headquarters last summer, defense witnesses and fellow defendants claimed yesterday. Vassilis Tzortzatos’s companion, Vassiliki Tzogla, told the court trying 19 N17 suspects in Athens’s top-security Korydallos Prison she had seen the marks of the beatings during visits to the 48-year-old electrician in prison. «Until November, he had a large eczema-like sore on his ribs,» she said. Tzortzatos’s sister, Margarita Rapti, told the court her brother had been unable to walk properly after the alleged beatings, and added that his testimony before an examining magistrate had been given in the presence of armed counterterrorist police officers. N17 suspect Vassilis Xeros said he had heard beatings and a man crying out in pain from the neighboring cell during his detention at Athens police headquarters. «Later, when I met Tzortzatos, I realized it had been his voice,» he said. Defendant Yiannis Serifis also said he had seen Tzortzatos’s wounds.