Police deny role in migrant fall

Police in Thessaloniki yesterday denied that local officers had anything to do with the death of a Nigerian immigrant who died in a first floor fall in the northern city last Saturday night. Meanwhile, protesters clashed with police for a third day in the suburb of Kalamaria where the incident occurred. No police officers had been patrolling the site of the incident on Saturday night, Thessaloniki Police Chief Pavlos Nikolaidis told a press conference. Nikolaidis also suggested that many activists who have joined rallies to protest the 27-year-old’s death were exploiting the incident «to create upheaval and harm the social and economic life of our city ahead of the Thessaloniki International Fair and general elections.» The results of a coroner’s report yesterday showed that Tony Onouha, a trader of bootleg CDs, died of head injuries sustained when he fell from a first-floor cafeteria onto the street. He had not been hurt in a scuffle prior to the fall, the coroner said. Relatives of Tony Onouha yesterday insisted that he fell after being chased by officers. «They told him: ‘Police. Stop,’» Onouha’s brother James told reporters. The relatives said they would request the surveillance camera footage from the bank opposite the cafeteria where Onouha died to use in a likely legal suit. Asked to comment about the incident yesterday, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Giorgos Kalatzis said the police should not be scapegoated. «It is easy to blame the police in the absence of proof, with the investigation into the incident still under way. Let us wait for the verdict of the judicial authorities,» he said. According to police, Onouha had lived in Greece, legally, since 2003 and had been arrested three times before, twice for selling counterfeit CDs and once for being in possession of forged 5-euro notes.