Civil war Polk case to reopen

Greece’s highest criminal court is to reopen a civil war controversy this week by discussing an appeal for the posthumous repeat trial of a man convicted 54 years ago in connection with the murder of a US war correspondent. Journalist Grigoris Staktopoulos – who died in 1998 – served 12 years of a life sentence for being an accessory to the Thessaloniki murder of George Polk in 1948, at the height of the fighting between government forces and communist rebels that ended with the communists’ defeat in 1949. He had always claimed to have been framed and his widow, Theodora, has twice appealed for a retrial to clear her husband’s name. Her renewed attempt could fare better than the first, which came to grief in 2001. On Tuesday, Supreme Court prosecutor Athanassios Kafiris is expected to argue that Staktopoulos was convicted on tainted evidence, while two more men – communist fighters – accused of killing the CBS reporter could not have been present at the murder. Polk had been trying to arrange a meeting with a communist leader just before his death.