Amfissa braces for Grigoropoulos trial

An extra 700 police officers will be on duty in the town of Amfissa as the trial is due to start today of two policemen charged in connection with the fatal shooting of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos in central Athens in December 2008. Police have also set up checkpoints on the three roads that lead into the town, located some 200 kilometers north of Athens, amid fears that anarchists or even urban guerrillas might try to disrupt proceedings. Officers from Athens, as well as members of the anti-terrorist squad, have been in Amfissa since last week preparing the security measures for the trial of special guard Epaminondas Korkoneas, charged with shooting the 15-year-old, and his colleague Vassilis Saraliotis, accused of being an accessory. The trial was moved to Amfissa from Athens because of security concerns and despite the repeated complaints of Grigoropoulos’s mother, Gina Tsakalian, who has expressed fears that some witnesses will not be able to attend the hearings. A number of businesses in Amfissa have adopted extra security measures, such as installing metal window blinds. «Whoever could afford it has stepped up security,» said the head of the local traders’ association Chrysoula Matatana. «The police have assured us there is nothing to worry about. Whether store owners open their shops is another matter.» Deputy Mayor Dimitris Provias was hopeful that normal life would not be disrupted. «All the roads will be open and parking will only be banned around the courthouse,» he said.

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