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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 03-03-03

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Weather forecast
  • [02] N17 trial begins
  • [03] 10 March last opportunity says Annan

  • [01] Weather forecast

    The National Meteorological Service forecasts for today and tomorrow cloud and occasional rain all over Greece with south-westerly moderate to strong locally winds in sea areas.

    The temperature in Athens will range from 4 to 16 C and in Thessaloniki from 1 to 12 C.

    (3/3/2003 10:52:00 рм)

    [02] N17 trial begins

    With a fair trial, democracy is responding to all those who tried, for 27 years, to destabilize it, with dozens of killings and robberies. I enter the courtroom with the presumption of innocence in hand, stated court President, M. Margaritis. Suspected operational leader of N17, D. Koufontinas, is entering with references to the trials of Greek revolutionary heroes. Issues of judicial responsibility and televised coverage of the trial will be set to the court. The government has given its assurance that all measures have been taken for coverage of the trial. Nineteen defendants, a case brief of 50,000 pages, and an estimated trial duration of 6 months.

    The trial of 19 alleged members of the notorious November 17 far-left radical group - Greece's biggest criminal prosecution for many years - is reported to have begun at a specially-built courtroom at an Athens prison.

    The defendants are accused of waging a 28-year campaign of terror that included 23 murders and more than 100 bombings.

    Reports say the courtroom at Korydallos prison was packed with spectators as the trial began, including Athens mayor Dora Bakoyannis whose husband was assassinated in 1989.

    The defendants will be tried behind bullet-proof glass by a specially-established panel of three judges in a hearing expected to last several months.

    The authorities have banned live coverage of the trial, which got under way late on Monday morning because of the heavy security measures that have been put in place.

    Some of the accused are loudly protesting their innocence and claim that the trial, at which they face life jail terms, will be fixed.

    Meanwhile, Journalists Associations the unhampered coverage of the trial by journalists cannot be guaranteed., while members of the Athens Dailies Association are examining closely the journalists' working conditions.

    From his side, in an interview with NET 105.8, Justice Minister Philipos Petsalnikos and Press Secretary General Dimitra Spiliotopoulou have stated that all necessary measures had been taken so that all facilities are available to journalists.

    New Democracy President Costas Karamanlis stated that his party feels justified for having provided the state with the institutional framework that allowed the police authorities to be successful in their task.

    At the same time, Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoides stated that the issue of terrorism should not become the subject of petty party exploitation and that everyone should show a sense of responsibilility.

    Meanwhile, alleged N17 terrorist organisation leading member Alexandros Giotopoulos continues insisting that he is not a member of this organisation, maintaining that his leading role has been attributed to him by foreign secret services. At the same time, Dimitris Koufodinas, another member of the same organisation, has accepted his participation in it and insists that that organisation played only a political role.

    (3/3/2003 10:53:00 рм)

    [03] 10 March last opportunity says Annan

    United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan warned the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots that March 10 constitutes a last opportunity for a solution of the Cyprus issue, adding that both sides should answer by that date whether they agree on holding separate referendums to decide whether his plan is acceptable.

    From his side, the Turkish Cypriot representative Rauf Denktash rejected again the idea of a referendum, maintaining that it had not been negotiated enough and that the Turkish Cypriots do not know it content.

    (3/3/2003 10:54:00 рм)

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