Koridallos prison court: Trial statement by Giorgos Petrakakos

On September 24th 2015, Giorgos Petrakakos – wanted for bank robberies – was arrested in the city of Volos together with his life companion Maria Theofilou (who is also the sister of imprisoned anarchist Tasos Theofilou). Both are currently held in Koridallos prisons, Athens.

On October 16th 2015, the second trial against Revolutionary Struggle began with regard to the attack with a car bomb containing 75kg of explosives against the Bank of Greece’s Supervision Directorate in central Athens on April 10th 2014; the shootout in Monastiraki on July 16th 2014, when comrade Nikos Maziotis was injured and recaptured by police; and expropriations of bank branches. The co-accused in this trial, all facing terrorism charges, are two Revolutionary Struggle members: Nikos Maziotis (imprisoned in Koridallos) and fugitive Pola Roupa; Antonis Stamboulos (remanded since October 1st 2014), who denies all charges; and Giorgos Petrakakos.

During court proceedings, Revolutionary Struggle member Nikos Maziotis assumed responsibility for two bank expropriations that took place while still underground (one at the National Bank branch in Methana, and another at Piraeus Bank branch in Kleitoria, Achaea), as well as his participation in the bombing attack against the Bank of Greece (10/4/2014), and shooting of cops in Monastriraki (16/7/2014).

The second trial against Revolutionary Struggle is already close to its end, because the presiding judge has imposed fast-track proceedings – to prevent comrade Antonis Stamboulos from being released from prison before conclusion of the trial (as the pretrial detention upper limit in Greece is 18 months).

Below is the trial statement by Giorgos Petrakakos, whom the media/police have imaginatively portrayed as an “accomplice of Nikos Maziotis.”
I find myself accused because I have participated in some bank robberies.

No matter how many years of imprisonment you’ll impose upon me, I don’t understand and won’t be able to figure out why this is considered as an accusation rather than a title of honour, since banks are responsible for wiping out an entire population.

I am accused by this court for three robberies as an alleged member of Revolutionary Struggle. I am also accused, in other accusatory dossiers, for the robbery in Distomo and for aggravated possession of weapons as a member of an unknown terrorist organisation… An unknown terrorist organisation I was allegedly about to set up, or what the authorities would fantasise about… When I was caught, the anti-terrorist police accused me of and tried with various tricks to attribute my involvement in four armed organisations as well as Revolutionary Struggle. Apart from these four organisations, they’ve also allowed me an extra gift: Revolutionary Struggle.

I would not be surprised if in the coming months I’ll be accused not only for the robberies in which I did participate, but for any unsolved robbery that has occurred in Greece over the last hundred years.

I do not care at all about the sentence, and I know that the police are asking your court to convict me severely. For me, there’s no difference whether I’ll be sentenced for one robbery or three. So I’d like to explain a couple of things, not because I want to achieve a lesser sentence, but to officially testify to the truth.

I started robbing banks in 2002, but not because I liked an easy life. Besides, this kind of life is far from easy. I instinctively positioned myself against this inhumane machine that feeds itself on humans. I find this system unjust, a system that supports banks and is supported by them. I consider it violent and thieving. Robbers and terrorists are the banks. Criminals are those who support them. My decision to rob banks was my own lonely way of fighting them.

I have never organised myself in a political manner, and my contact with the anarchist milieu was and is personal and friendly relations I developed with some anarchist fighters whom I met in prison, especially from 2003 to 2006. I respect and appreciate their struggle, their selflessness and ethos. I think that they have justness on their side; however, I’ve never had any connection with any legal or illegal, unarmed or armed group or organisation. I believe also that my prosecution for participation in Revolutionary Struggle is done for communication purposes, to serve the theory for the anti-terrorist police of an allegedly operational link between “penal-code offenders and terrorists”. I was ideal for this experiment of theirs as, on the one hand, I am a bank robber – a delinquent activity, which nevertheless has social acceptance – as opposed to being, let’s say, a drug trafficker; on the other hand, it’s known that I have personal relations with some anarchists. But personal relationships and likings are entirely a different thing compared to participation in a revolutionary organisation.

To serve their own propaganda purposes, the anti-terrorist police wish to charge me with involvement in more than two revolutionary organisations, if possible.

It’s no coincidence that my name and photograph began to feature breaking news and front pages immediately after the arrest of Nikos Maziotis, portraying me as his right-hand man and other such grotesque stories, when nothing in fact connects me to him, and there’s not even a shred of evidence which can confirm such a scenario.

It doesn’t suit my nature to make declarations of law-abidingness. I proudly declare that I am a bank robber. If I was involved in Revolutionary Struggle I would declare it so and defend my choice. But I’ve consciously chosen another path in my life.

My life itself is revolutionary as I’ve chosen it to be, as I’ve created it myself, through my choices in staying out of the automated lifestyle.

Furthermore, I have not participated in all the robberies I’m charged with. Even if I wanted to, it would be practically impossible to have done as many robberies as – according to accusatory documents – they try to charge me with, given the fact the ones I was involved in required several months of planning, in order to achieve the best possible result in the smoothest way, putting always the safety of citizens first, even at the expense of my own safety. In each of the robberies in which I’ve taken part not a single nostril bled, nor did I ever need to fire a single shot in the air to intimidate anyone. Those robberies were always planned in detail, and we always took all necessary measures to avoid putting anyone in danger.

The accusatory dossier before your eyes is a rough mishmash of police media releases and nothing more. Of the facts I am accused in this trial, I admit my participation in the Eurobank branch robbery in Akrata [Achaea], even though the evidence you hold is in fact inadequate if not non-existent.

I will not give further information and won’t answer your questions.