NEWS

Grigoropoulos friend disappears

A friend of Alexis Grigoropoulos, who was shot dead by a police officer in December 2008, failed for a fourth time to appear in court yesterday and is now being sought by authorities. The judge in the trial of the two officers involved in the teenager’s shooting had ordered police to bring the 17-year-old witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to court by force if necessary but he was not at his house yesterday morning. The boy’s father said that he had left during the night and that there was no way of contacting him because he recently changed his mobile phone number and had not given it to anyone. The teenager failed to testify on three previous occasions, initially citing psychological problems but earlier this week claiming the police were spying on him, which was denied by the force. Despite disappearing, the 17-year-old reportedly sent a message to the Zougla.gr news website in which he explained his reasons for not attending court. «I have no intention of appearing at the trial because it does not interest me in the slightest,» the message said. «I see as political my decision not to attend when authorities decide and instead to express my opinion as I see fit,» he added. Alexis Kougias, the lawyer of Epaminondas Korkoneas, the officer charged with shooting Grigoropoulos, said that the message confirmed his belief that the teenager was an active anarchist. But the boy went on to deny this in his message. «These are the conspiracy theories of a puffed-up lawyer who likes to make an impression and tries to use the limelight to his advantage,» he said. The trial continued without the witness but prosecutor Haralambos Lakafosis said that he was determined to hear the teenager’s testimony.