x

Society

Greek Court Acquits 21 Over Raid on Eldorado Gold Facilities

December 1, 2018

THESSALONIKI (AP) — A Greek court on Friday acquitted 21 people accused of raiding prospective gold mining facilities that some see as a welcome foreign investment but many local residents strongly oppose on environmental grounds.

About 40 masked people attacked the facilities at Skouries in the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece in February 2013. They allegedly assaulted security guards and set fire to machinery and offices.

The court in the northern city of Thessaloniki found there wasn’t sufficient evidence to convict the defendants, all of whom had denied any wrongdoing.

“There are indications of guilt for defendants, but events also came up which refute these indications and create doubts as to the guilt,” presiding judge Vassilis Stefos said. “However, full proof of guilt is required” for a conviction.

The charges had included attempted murder, possession of explosives, arms offenses and forming a criminal organization.

The mining facilities, owned by Canada’s Eldorado Gold, have split Halkidiki residents. Many welcome the jobs that the gold and copper mine would bring, while others say it would destroy the environment and pristine forests, harming tourism and other local sources of revenue such as farming, livestock rearing and fishing.

Protests broke out in the area, with tear gas and firebombs used and residents trading accusations with the company about heavy-handed reactions and the use of violence.

Friday’s decision was greeted with cheers in the courthouse, which was packed with friends and supporters of the defendants from the Halkidiki villages of Ierissos and Megali Panagia.

A defense lawyer, Giorgos Kyritsis, said the ruling fully justified his clients.

“It was clearly proved that the charges were fabricated,” he told The Associated Press.

Eldorado Gold acquired the Skouries site in 2012 and started construction work a year later with a view to operating it as an open pit and underground mine.

But long delays with permits and licenses from Greek authorities led to a temporary suspension in development, and in 2017 Eldorado Gold placed the site in a state of care and maintenance.


By COSTAS KANTOURIS , Associated Press

RELATED

ATHENS — The United Nations' refugee and migration agencies on Friday criticized Greece's failure over the past year to shed light on one of the worst migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea that left hundreds dead.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

Today, I will talk about a food that I associate with summer, shellfish, as that is their ‘season’ in the Mediterranean.

THRU AUGUST 4 STOCKBRIDGE, MA – ‘Microcosms: A Solo Exhibition of Selected Works’ by Peter D.

LONDON - A second generation Greek-Cypriot in London, Georgina Hayden has used her heritage to write cookbooks showing off recipes from her homeland and her latest, Greekish, offers everything from Baklava cheesecake to Burnt Butter Eggs and Goat’s Cheese.

The two biggest wastes of time this election year are reminders that Joe Biden’s cognitive skills are in freefall and that Donald Trump’s a convicted felon.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.