ELA terror decision on October 6

The court trying five suspected members of the Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) group broke up yesterday to allow judges two weeks of deliberations pending the announcement of the final verdict. After defense lawyers completed their arguments, two of the defendants asked to address the court. Christos Tsigaridas, a 65-year-old Athens architect who has admitted to membership of the extreme left-wing group up to 1991, insisted he had no connection with his fellow defendants. «I shall wait for my sentencing, I am psychologically prepared to hear it,» he said. Michalis Kassimis, a 59-year-old civil servant, protested his innocence. ELA killed two people in dozens of attacks between 1983 and 1995. The decision will be announced on October 6. The trial opened on February 9 but proceeded slowly, thus dashing government hopes of securing a decision before the August Olympics. Justice Ministry sources complained bitterly about the delays, prompting presiding judge Elissavet Brilli to lash back that pressure to get the trial over with quickly had hampered the defense.

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