OPINION

Three-level trial?

Perusing the minutes of the November 17 trial gives the impression, to those who have not attended in person, that there are three parallel discussions under way in the courtroom: an academic one, a politico-ideological one, and an abstract discussion of the type that abounded in the 1980s. The three discussions sometimes overlap and this is when the tension mounts. Unfortunately, however, none of these debates – about whether N17’s crimes were political or not – helps reveal the truth about domestic terrorism. The academic debate involves certain defense lawyers and others representing civil claimants, and is reminiscent of a postgraduate seminar in criminal procedure, with references ranging from the French Revolution to the Baader-Mainhof group. The protagonist in the politico-ideological debate is Yotopoulos’s lawyer Ioannis Rahiotis, who introduced the theory of the «aggressive Left» or the «quarry turned hunter.» The paradox is that he describes N17 as aggressive while representing someone who insists he knows nothing about the group’s activities. The third, abstract, discussion was instigated by Koufodinas and appears likely to continue with witnesses who say they considered the armed defense of democracy from the first post-civil war years and that they understand how some individuals transformed similar thoughts into action… So, even if we learn nothing about the defendants, at least we will have understood something about their friends.