Conspiracy of Cells of Fire case political trial: the first days and one more arrest

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also here: conspiracy cells of fire

January 17th, 1st day of the trial:

Early in the morning the atmosphere in Koridallos was asphyxiating. Police everywhere and very few comrades. Around 11 am people gathered on the pavement outside the prison/court to get in. They had to give their ID card and full personal information. The courtroom was full of plainclothes cops. A few people made it to get in. Then the court was stopped and it was stated that nobody would be allowed in without ID and the card would be kept for the duration of the trial. That is illegal since the police only have the right to keep your identity card if you are a witness, or expert witness (according to the procedure). Since, however, it is assumed that the case is not yet closed, they are trying to find more to culprits. Fortunately, the accused comrades refused to speak and left the courtroom..

SO the trial was adjourned again for the reasons mentioned above. After over an hour, it restarted to hear again the same demands as those made by the lawyers, but from the accused themselves:

1. NO personal data to be recorded from identity cards, which are not to be withheld at the entrance by the security cops.

2. Up until then there was absolutely nothing on record for obvious reasons. There is apparently no need for the proceedings to be recorded (to have the possibility of perverting what has been said for public opinion and those not present at the trial).

3. Demands that the plainclothes cops leave the courtroom and let the people outside occupy the seats, because outside the cops guarding the prison had closed the road, prohibiting not only entry to the prison, but also the approach road for the following obvious reasons “we have orders not to let anyone pass and even if we let them in, the court is full.” Bullshit Indeed, after the first interruption, most plainclothes cops fucked off – one was almost attacked but they managed to conceal him. That had the effect of freeing around 40 places.

After we sent one of our lawyers to inform those at the entrance that there was room to go in, but anyway the scum did not let anyone pass. So 1 / 3 of the courtroom was empty and the other 1 / 3 was composed of cops (plainclothes or not). The comrade prisoners stated that if the demands were not accepted they would not participate in the trial. Of course the president of the court didn’t give a shit, which angered many people and the imprisoned comrades left the court again to the accompaniment of slogans.

Finally, the culmination of the whole matter was this: The President ruled that despite the “generous” and “honest” efforts by the Court, there are not the logistics for the trial to be tape-recorded! Still, she still wanted to continue, of course. She also agreed that the registration of personal information of those present, such as the photocopying of identity documents, is illegal and banned, but the ID cards of those entering the courtroom would be held until they left the prison! Looking us straight in the face. On the other hand, we were “assured” all the same, that the list of records would be destroyed, while no written statement to that effect was produced … (Why?) She said that the proceedings are public and open to everyone to attend WITHOUT EXCEPTION, provided the attendees did not exceed the number of seats (accentuating the “without exception”, meaning of course that the public can also mean plainclothes cops!) Finally, the possibility of the “removal” of the case to the Court, was examined. It depends on whether it is possible for it to be fitted with the necessary logistics for recording (the latter will certainly be decided at the next hearing in the courtroom of Koridallos).

The accused comrades were well – as well as it is possible to be, namely, dynamic and determined.

Outraged by the developments they left the courtroom. When leaving, those present in the court shouted slogans such as “cops, judges SS” and “the passion for freedom is stronger than the prison.

January 24th, 2nd day:

On Monday, January 24, the second day of the trial of the accused in the case of Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, the court rejected both claims of the accused: to have the minutes of the proceedings recorded (“Due to high costs” said the tribunal bozos!) and for the identity papers of those entering the courtroom not to be withheld. …The defendants left the court, revoked their defense lawyers and stated that they will abstain from prison food and go on hunger strike if the court appointed lawyers (which it did).

Critique of the attitudes of the journalists. The statement of the six accused prisoners, agreed by the three comrades* on bail, was read by George Karagiannidis and said: “We are adamant about the retaining of our comrades’ particulars.”

G. Karagiannidis spoke of the repressive nature of the measure said the defendants want to take their voices beyond the walls of the prison.
The statement made reference to the journalists, who “misleadingly report directly from the counter-terrorist cops They have reported on our personal lives and those of our families, so they too are exposed.”
When the accused left the prison/court dozens of comrades shouted slogans and many of them raised their fists shouting “Tough, tough, be proud and strong.”

* The three comrades Vogiatzakis, Rallis and Giospas who are free on bail claimed that they have nothing to fear, but said that under these circumstances they cannot attend and do not want to go to trial with lawyers whom they do not know.

January 25th, 3rd day:

25 January 2011 – The trial of those accused of involvement in the organization Conspiracy of Cells of Fire was stopped this morning and will resume on Thursday. The court proceeded to appoint new defense lawyers, but of the 18 lawyers appointed, only four came forward and stated that they refuse to accept the appointment. As said by the lawyers who refused to take their defense, the case is too serious and the defendants themselves do not wish to be represented. Finally, the court was suspended until Thursday with the appointment of two new lawyers per defendant.

January 26th, 4th day:

For the third consecutive day on Wednesday 26 January, a three-member Felonies Appeals court proceeded to appoint new lawyers but at the beginning of the procedure, the second group of appointed lawyers, -most of whom appeared in court-, stated that they do not accept their appointment.

In the court a statement was read by the prison guards stating that the prisoners-defendants do not wish to be transferred to court, while a letter of accused comrade Konstantina Karakatsani asked the court to give time to communicate with her advocates, stressing that she does not want to have another lawyer appointed to represent her.

Monday, 31st of January, was set as the trial’s next day.

One more arrest for the ‘Conspiracy of Cells of Fire’ case

On January 26th Michalis Nikolopoulos was arrested in Kifissia (northern Athens), accused in the case of Conspiracy of Cells of Fire. On January 28th he was led at the Evelpidon Courts where a solidarity gathering also held. He appeared before the prosecutor (Loukareos court) for the execution of an arrest warrant that had pending for nearly a year and a half, since he was a fugitive. The comrade refused to testify, saying that he does not recognize the procedure and he was imprisoned.
In 3/2, he has also claimed political responsibility for his participation in the revolutionary organization ‘Conspiracy of Cells of Fire’ (his brief statement).

Letter from the defendants about ‘Conspiracy of Cells of Fire’ Case

On Monday, 24/1, the matters that we placed before the court regarding the non retaining and registering of the identification of those who arrive in the courtroom and the tape recording of the trial proceedings, the first of which is the most important for us, were examined. As we had decided and publicly announced in the case of the court not accepting our demands, we withdrew and revoked our lawyers.
What happened in the courtroom is better known to those who were inside, friends, comrades and relatives. We will present the facts as we experienced them unfolding from our point of view. While we were in the holding room we heard the voices and chants of the people, which gave us strength and courage.
At some point we realized that the president of the special court had ordered the removal and detention of certain comrades and relatives from the hearing. Intense shouting followed and we realized that there were clashes with the cops in the courtroom, which we were separated from by an iron door.
Wanting to approach it in order to help our relatives and comrades in some way, we headed in that direction. At the last moment the cops from the escort closed the door on us and a fierce body to body clash followed with about 20 of them. Although they outnumbered us, their use of batons became essential in order to make the clash equal.
The clash lasted roughly 10 minutes and, even though they put handcuffs on some of us, we continued to fight chained up while the cops hit us furiously. Perhaps they dealt many blows but we responded with the same and more, showing them that some prisoners are not easy prey to their fake macho posturing. Now, regarding the statement concerning an organized escape attempt it is ridiculous to say the least since the space in which we were directed – behind the courtroom- leads to the prison courtyard and at the time of the trial it was full of squads of riot cops and special forces.
We declare, finally, that we stand firm in our demand that the comrades and those attending the trial in solidarity not be registered. The isolation of the accused in political trials reflects the disposition to penalize comradely relations and the demeaning of the political subjects that participate in them. For us solidarity is an essential and nodal matter. We do not tolerate the direct attack of the court on the solidarity movement. We will not be the ones to legitimize this decision of theirs. As a first move we have begun the refusal of prison food, while at the same time none of us will participate in the trial until our demands have been met.

We do not tolerate the mockery of the president of the court who, despite at first agreeing to the free attendance of people, later, following the command of her political superiors, reversed the decision, indisputably proving her role as a puppet of the anti-terrorist staff. We are asking for the obvious and their refusal shows the disposition of the special court. We will not attend the trial until each comrade and those in solidarity can enter without the fear of be filed. In the event that the trial starts without us and our lawyers, with the only participants being cops and appointed lawyers, we will begin a hunger strike from the day that the trial begins again. In order for us to return to the courtroom we demand free access to anyone that wants to follow the trial, by simply showing their identity card and without any recording of their information. We also recommend that all the appointed lawyers refuse to participate in this fascist procedure where we are deprived of a voice and opinion. Such a thing is undignified for them, to say the least, and it would be good that they do not attempt “to take the snake out of the hole”. (Greek saying meaning to be the one that solves the problem)
To end up, we return our solidarity from our hearts to all the comrades from Greece and abroad, who with their words and action give us strength to carry on the struggle.


Haris Hadjimihelakis, Giorgos Karagiannidis, Alexandros Mitrousias, Panagiotis Masouras, Panagiotis Argirou

In 3 February the trial was held without the defendants’ presence nor their lawyers in defense.

The four of the defendants, Argirou, Hadjimihelakis, Masouras and Karagiannidis, announced that on Thursday, 3 February 2011, they proceed from abstention of food to hunger strike, to achieve their claims—the identities of the people who wish to be present in the courtroom not to be recorded nor retained, in order for the defendants to return in court represented by the lawyers of their original choice:


We announce that today, Thursday, 3/2/2011, we escalate our mobilization and from abstention of prison food we are going on hunger strike until the achievement of our aim which is to not record and withhold the information of those who want to watch our trial so that we can return finally to it with the lawyers of our initial choice. Our tenacious position in our demand is the armouring of our character. As we declared from the first moment we do not ask, we demand they do not register all those, comrades or relatives and friends, interested in being near us the moment we are tried. The recognition of their contribution in the essential significance of solidarity and support cannot but oblige us to rise to the occasion. Thus we deny make our trial, with our consent and our participation in the procedure, a landmark for the foundation of tomorrow’s prosecutions of comrades-fighters and revolutionaries. We do not tolerate the attack that the movement of solidarity receives neither the attempted isolation of political prisoners in trials-court martials. Either the regime of terrorism and registering of those want to attend the trial in solidarity will end, or you will judge the chairs and the microphones.

Moreover our case is such that while some of us face the definite condemnation from the court since we have publicly and openly taken the responsibility for our participation in the organization, the rest however face the danger of a long sentence and hence the continuation of the hostage regime that they have imposed on us, in the frames of exactly what we stress: the penalization of the wider friendly-family and comrade relations.

We therefore place our bodies in the ordeal of hunger strike knowing that it is a hard and difficult struggle of endurance with not having a lot of space for movement and action, being locked up and limited behind walls. Considering that the character of our trial is such that these measures are adopted in an attempt to terrorize the people in solidarity, we conclude that it is not a matter that concerns purely us but the all imminent trials of such character that will follow. We know that we are not alone in this struggle. We thank therefore in advance those who express their solidarity by all means to our case.




Panagiotis Argirou, Haris Hadjimihelakis, Panagiotis Masouras, Giorgos Karagiannidis

Freedom to all imprisoned for the ‘Conspiracy of Cells of Fire’ case

Solidarity to all imprisoned anarchists and revolutionaries


Sources: actforfreedomnow, athensindymedia