NEWS

Officer lied to Grigoropoulos court

Doubt was cast yesterday on the accuracy of the crime scene recreation that followed the shooting of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos by a police special guard on December 6, 2008. Judge Angelita Papavassiliou revealed to the court in Amfissa, northwest of Athens, where the policeman is being tried that the officer in charge of the recreation, Dimos Minoudis, lied about the number of times he spoke to a witness who told him where Grigoropoulos and special guard Epaminondas Korkoneas were standing. Minoudis had told the court that he spoke to the alleged witness, Ada Tzorbatzioudi, one the day of the recreation, December 21, 2008. However, the judge said mobile phone records that had just been released showed Minoudis had called the woman some three hours after Grigoropoulos was shot and that they spoke eight times on December 21. Both the prosecution and the defense said that this revelation supported their case. Prosecution lawyer Nikos Konstantopoulos said it was evidence the police had attempted a cover-up. Defense counsel Alexis Kougias said it indicated that there was an attempt to implicate Korkoneas in the murder of Grigoropoulos. Korkoneas admits firing warning shots in the air after allegedly coming under attack from a group of youths Exarchia, central Athens, but denies shooting directly at a group of people that included Grigoropoulous. His colleague, Vassilis Saraliotis, who is also on trial, did not fire his gun. Ballistic and forensic tests indicate the bullet that killed Grigoropoulous struck a cement bollard, suggesting it had not been fired in the air. Also, several witnesses claim they saw Korkoneas firing directly at the group of people. Kougias has challenged the accuracy of these statements.