Lawyers for N17 seek trial by jury

As a senior prosecutor yesterday took delivery of some 50 kilos of documents concerning the November 17 terrorist group investigation, lawyers for the 19 suspects called for their clients to be tried by jury for «political crimes.» Under new counter-terrorism legislation passed early this year, terrorists must be tried by three-judge appeals courts, for fear of threats to jurors that could influence their judgment. But at a joint press conference yesterday, lawyers for most of the suspects – 18 of whom are held in specially built isolation cells in Athens’s Korydallos Prison – said their clients should be tried by jury. «These are political crimes, having been carried out with political motivation to attack the core of state power,» Ioanna Kourtovik, who represents the only female suspect, Angeliki Sotiropoulou, argued. Other lawyers complained that the suspects’ special detention conditions were intended to hamper preparations for their defense. Meanwhile, N17 sympathizers on 50 motorcycles and in 25 cars drove from central Athens to Korydallos yesterday afternoon, to protest at the suspects’ detention conditions.

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