ELA trial stopped by new revolt

The trial of five Revolutionary Struggle (ELA) terror suspects reopened yesterday after a week’s break, only to be postponed till Monday when all defense lawyers refused to take part in the process. They were protesting at the court’s decision last Friday to appoint two lawyers to defend Irini Athanassaki, two of whose three lawyers stormed out of the courtroom after judges refused to disregard evidence submitted by a prosecution witness. Only one of the new lawyers appointed accepted the job, and the court decided to seek the other’s prosecution. When the trial reopened yesterday, all the defense lawyers walked out, saying they would be back on Monday. Meanwhile, Athanassaki’s third lawyer, who had not been in court last week, turned up and said he would be representing his client. Prosecutor Eleftherios Patsis called for all the defense lawyers to be replaced, arguing that they were trying to blackmail the court. The trial opened on February 9, but has made little progress. The suspects are charged with involvement in two assassinations and dozens of bomb attacks.

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