Today, May 5th, 2011, the public prosecutor has asked for Simos Seisidis to be acquitted of the charges since there is no evidence connecting him to the robberies. Simos was declared innocent by all the judges at the Felonies Court of Appeals in Athens, as there was no evidence to prove his ‘guilt beyond doubt’, as the legal term goes.
Simos was arrested in May 2010 in Kerameikos, Athens, after a chase up by the police that injured him at his leg, causing for it to be amputated. He had been charged with seven robberies, three homicide attempts, money laundering and participation in a criminal organization. The judges ruled the accused was innocent since none of the eye witnesses identified him as one of the robbers at the bank robberies, including that of the National Bank in Exarchia (Solonos & Ippokratous Str.), where the ensuing shoot-out between robbers and police caused the injury and subsequent arrest of the anarchist Yannis Dimitrakis.
Despite the acquitting decision, Simos will return to prison since there are other pending cases against him. He remains imprisoned because he is accused of attempted homicide of the cop who shot him in the back –which led to the amputation of his leg!
From Anarchist News:
In the courtroom, a picture of a haloed Jesus hung above the five judges sitting behind the elevated bench. Two cameras hung above the judges, staring down at the spot where each witness would testify in front of a Bible. Simos Seisidis sat atop a little podium, surrounded by sub-machine gun wielding anti-terrorist police, one wearing a balaclava. He tapped his fingers against the desk he sat behind, played with a little a bottle, and knocked his microphone back and forth, generally looking bored, staring off into space. Rain was falling outside the courthouse as people began to testify on his behalf. This was to be the last day of the trial.
His mother told the court that her son was innocent and that, from a very young age, he had always been picked on by those with more power than him. A journalist told the court that Simos had been punished enough by having his foot stolen from him and that a concert organized on his behalf had drawn a wide variety of people from all classes in his support. While these testimonies went on, Simos smiled and joked with his friends in the court room who had not seen him in a long time.
Another friend of his testified that after the bank robbery Simos was alleged to have participated in she was followed by the police and eventually kidnapped by them. She was taken to the police headquarters, asked to identify Simos in pictures, and when she said she didn’t recognize him, the police said they would jail her boyfriend if she did not say the man in the pictures was Simos. She told the court that what happened to her happened to many other people. After she spoke, an old communist began to testify. He told the court that he had suffered repression during the dictatorship and that the same type of repression was still happening now in the new democracy.
During this testimony, Simos humorously asked to go the bathroom. He grabbed his two crutches and was escorted upstairs by the anti-terrorist police. When he returned, his sister’s husband was testifying, telling the judges that the police have a vendetta against his friend, that they rely on pressuring witnesses, and that when Simos was having his foot stolen from him, the police would not let anyone of his loved ones in to see him. People in the audience begin to yell when this is brought up, still enraged at what the State did to their friend.
And then it was Simos’ turn to speak. As he spoke, many people began to cry. I cannot translate all of what he said, but I am positive that he said this to the court that was judging him: “I expect nothing from the State. You are the State. I have nothing else to say.” With these words, Simos departed for the day.
After a short break, one of the judges began to read off the evidence against Simos. As she launched into her inquisitorial tirade, the sky grew extremely gray. All of a sudden, there was a flash of lightning, followed by thunder. Everyone in the court began to smile and laugh. When she was done, the defense told the court the reasons Simos was innocent. As he did so, the sky slowly began to lighten. After this, the judges retired to their chambers and everyone waited. When they returned, the verdict was announced: Innocent. Everyone jumped, cheered, and smiled. Even though Simos would still be in jail, the most serious danger was now past. Everyone left the courtroom. By this time the storm had passed and the friends of Simos were able to return home without being drenched in rain.