NEWS

Policeman in Golden Dawn trial says arrested wrong people on night of Fyssas’s murder

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A police officer who was in one of the two emergency squad cars dispatched to the scene of Pavlos Fyssas’s murder in Keratsini, Piraeus, in September 2013, told the court trying the far-right Golden Dawn party in connection with the murder and other crimes, he thought he was after soccer hooligans.

Officer Constantinos Kotsovos said he and his partner were sent by the police’s dispatch unit to the street in Keratsini where self-confessed Golden Dawn member Giorgos Roupakias stabbed and killed the 34-year-old rapper after the latter was involved in an altercation with other suspected party supporters.

He admitted that their orders were to look for “a group of men dressed in black,” adding that the dispatch unit later specified the suspects were Golden Dawn supporters – who typically dress in black military-style pants and t-shirts.

Kotsovos said that he and his partner arrived at the scene just after Fyssas’s body had been removed and Roupakias was taken into custody.

Asked by the court whether they proceeded with any arrests of suspects fitting the description given by dispatch he said “no, but we located some other individuals who fit the initial report of an altercation between soccer fans.”

Asked whether officers from the police’s rapid-response motorcycle squad, DIAS, were at the scene of the murder, Kotsovos said he could “not remember,” also claiming ignorance as to why no suspects other than Roupakias were arrested in the minutes directly after the stabbing. He said he and his partner went in search of soccer hooligans and remanded a group of men congregated in the open parking area below a nearby apartment building.

According to witness testimony, Fyssas had been chased and assaulted by at least a dozen men before Roupakis drove up to the scene of the altercation in his car and delivered the fatal blow.

Other police officers who witnessed the stabbing have admitted to being reluctant to step in as they were outnumbered by the assailants.