OPINION

July 31, 1953

PLOUMBIDIS ON KKE: During the sixth day of the trial of Nikolaos Ploumbidis, final testimony was heard from witnesses for the defense and prosecution and the trial entered its final, crucial phase with the testimony of the defendant himself. (…)His statements included the following: «(…) During preparations for the trial, anti-communist circles and the enemies of the people tried in every way possible to slander [the Communist Party of Greece] KKE and its leaders. They even published, in the press, statements which they falsely attributed to me, supposedly made to a senior officer of the military court, proving that I was an apostate, a traitor to my party’s ranks, that communist leaders were murderers and that the KKE was a suspect party with unknown intentions. They feared the revelations of the traitor and decided to kill him. They even published an imaginary interview I supposedly gave in order to present me as having turned against (Nikos) Zachariadis, the leader of our party.» Presiding judge: «The radio station ‘Free Greece’ is still accusing you.» Ploumbidis: «They are right to do so. (…) For the party to change its mind, it has first has to be sure of the truth. First the evidence that I am a traitor has to be overturned. (…) Nevertheless, the accusation is not due to personal reasons or fear that I am after Zachariadis’s post, but to the party leaders’ desire to safeguard the party from an alleged enemy.»