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(en) Greece, MEDIA, thessaloniki hungerstriker framed - TV shows Briton on EU riot charge 'is innocent'

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 22 Nov 2003 10:10:46 +0100 (CET)

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The lawyer of a British man jailed by Greek authorities after riots during the European Union
summit in Thessaloniki in June said yesterday television footage proved his client innocent.
Simon Chapman has been on hunger strike for more than six weeks to draw attention
to his case. Under Greek law he can be held without trial for up to 18 months.
Simon Chapman He was charged with possession of Molotov cocktails and a hammer after violent
clashes between Greek riot police and anti-globalisation protesters at the summit.
But Mr Chapman's lawyer said yesterday television footage taken by two Greek
channels and the news agency Reuters showed the charges to be groundless,
although he admitted that his client had been involved in "fights" with police.

According to George Ververis, the tapes show Mr Chapman wearing a rucksack that
is clearly blue, as protesters clashed with police. Then, he says, footage
shows Greek police collecting Molotov cocktails and placing them in a black
rucksack. Mr Chapman was charged with possessing a black rucksack containing
the Molotov cocktails.

Mr Ververis would not make any formal accusations against the Greek authorities.

"I cannot say that they set him up," he said. "But I can say that the videos
all show Simon carrying a blue bag. All three tapes show Greek police
collecting Molotov cocktails and placing them in a black bag. They then
presented a black bag in the charge."

The Greek supreme court yesterday took the rare step of ordering an
investigation of the allegation.

Last night human rights activists held a protest rally in central Athens to
condemn the Greek government's treatment of the men they are calling
the "Thessaloniki Five" - Mr Chapman and four other protesters on hunger strike.


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