OPINION

July 25, 1953

PLOUMBIDIS TRIAL: (Excerpts from L.G. Koromilas) – Yesterday the trial began at the Athens military court of Nikos Ploumbidis, who heads illegal operations by the Communist Party of Greece. He is accused, along with the party leaders who are outside Greece, of espionage against the country on behalf of a foreign power. The case is similar to another one a few months ago in which death sentences were passed on Beloyiannis, Batsis, Argyriadis and others. (…) The lawyers will try to save the accused from the firing squad. (…) Ploumbidis’s image is that of a leader. He is educated, possessed of a fanatical belief, and is hard and relentless, with piercing eyes and a broad forehead. (…) He gives the impression of being completely unmoved, although his nerves often give him away. He also makes jokes. (…) The police chief, Mr Theodoros Rakintzis, who greeted Ploumbidis and shook hands with him, then proceeded to demolish him with his testimony (…). Mr Rakintzis said that Ploumbidis’s speeches were so persuasive that Mr (Angelos) Evert, then chief of security police, would send away the lower-ranking officers monitoring union rallies when Ploumbidis was speaking, out of fear that they would be influenced by his arguments. GREECE-USSR: A special envoy is expected in Athens to represent the Soviet government in order to sign a Greek-Soviet trade agreement and a treaty on exchanges.