Greece Releases 20 Croatian Hooligans During Deadly Clash Probe

ATHENS – Greek authorities have released from detention 20 Croatians detained in a summer soccer hooligan brawl in Athens that left a Greek fan dead and brought tensions between the governments of the countries.

The Croatians were supporters of the GNK Dinamo Zagreb team that was in Athens for a game against AEK – they were supposedly barred from entering Greece but police allowed them in and lost them in traffic.

A chaotic Battle Royale broke out outside the Greek team’s stadium that resulted in a Greek fan, Michalis Katsouris, knifed to death and police were looking into the role of Panathinaikos soccer team fans allied with the Croatians.

Examining magistrates handling the investigation into the violent incidents outside AEK’s stadium approved the release of the 20 but another 85 are still in detention while the case drags on.

Instead of being held on remand, prosecuting authorities ordered those released to be banned from returning to Greece to attend any sports events and set a bail of 1,000 euros (($1074.76) for each suspect.

All the suspects recently testified before the examining magistrates handling the case, answering to the additional charge of taking part in clashes which they denied, some said they were in Athens only to watch the game.


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