Prosecutor: One ELA cell on trial

The five defendants in the trial of suspected members of the Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) constitute the group’s leader and the members of one of four cells, the court prosecutor said on the first day of his summation yesterday. The trial of Christos Tsigaridas, Costas Agapiou, Angeletos Kanas, Irini Athanassaki and Michalis Kassimis began on February 9. The three defendants who have been in custody (Agapiou, Kanas and Athanassaki) are expected to be released on Monday as the 18-month maximum for pretrial detention is reached. Prosecutor Eleftherios Patsis adopted the indictment, accepting that main prosecution witness Sophia Kyriakidou (a former ELA member and also Kanas’s former wife) was a credible witness, that the defendants were members of the group and that ELA was directly linked to other urban guerrilla groups. Patsis described the political climate in which ELA and other groups were formed when democracy was restored at the end of a seven-year dictatorship in 1974. «During the restoration of democracy, some organizations were not satisfied and felt that they were being left out, so they created their own social world,» the prosecutor said. «These groups, including ELA, said they had social and national aims. But I did not hear one call to arms directed at the enslaved Greeks.» Regarding ELA’s organizational structure, Patsis relied on Kyriakidou’s testimony. He said she had testified against her former husband because she had been betrayed, and so as to avail herself of lenient treatment under the provisions of the anti-terrorism law. He also argued that ELA did not have a political agenda. His summation continues today. ELA killed two people in 20 years before its last attack in 1995.