Grigoropoulos trial nears end

Lawyers in the trial of the two police special guards accused of being involved in the fatal shooting of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos in the central Athens neighborhood of Exarchia in December 2007 began summing up yesterday and judges are expected to deliver their verdicts by the end of the month. Eight months after the trial began, Zoe Konstantopoulou, the lawyer representing the Grigoropoulos family, called for both Epaminondas Korkoneas, the policeman who pulled the trigger, and Vassilis Saraliotis, who was on duty with him, to be found guilty of murder. Konstantopoulou argued that neither man had shown the necessary remorse for their part in the teenager’s death, which sparked days of protests and rioting in Athens. She said that, instead, they had displayed «cynicism» about their roles on the night of December 6, 2008. Saraliotis insists that he has no regrets about his actions on the night of the shooting but Konstantopoulou claimed that he had provided «moral support» to Korkoneas, who fired the shot that killed the boy. The lawyer also accused Korkoneas of shooting directly at the group of people among whom the 15-year-old was standing. Korkoneas says that he fired after coming under attack from several thrown objects and had not aimed at Grigoropoulos or anyone else. Ballistic tests have shown that the bullet that killed the schoolboy ricocheted off a cement bollard. Witnesses have suggested the Korkoneas shot at the crowd rather than into the air or down at the ground. The victim’s lawyer also insisted that the teenager was a normal 15-year-old who had no intention of playing the rebel, nor was he the member of any anarchist group.

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