Two Greeks Wrongly Jailed as Anarchists Will Get Compensation

May 7, 2019

ATHENS – Two people still not named even though they were convicted – wrongfully – as being members of the notorious Greek anarchist group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire will be given 15 euros for each of the 400 days they were in prison, 6,000 euros ($6723.)

That was ordered by an appeals court in the case of a 29-year-old PhD candidate known as Irianna, and 34-year-old Agricultural School graduate Pericles who had been sentenced to 13 years in jail before their convictions were overturned after a court said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove they belonged to the court.

Their lawyers argued their imprisonment was not only unjust but was harming their professional careers and stigmatizing them socially.

In June, 2018, a five-member criminal appeals court returned a unanimous verdict of “not guilty” for the two, almost a year after another court refused to suspend the prison sentence, declaring they should remain in prison until their case was heard on appeal. Irianna was convicted on the basis of DNA evidence that has been contested as incomplete and insufficiently conclusive to support a conviction.

The two were convicted last year of belonging to the nihilist Conspiracy Cells of Fire group, which has claimed several attacks, including letter bombs sent to European leaders.

Anarchist groups protested the sentence angrily.

Dozens of shops in the city center were attacked hours after the Athens Appeals Court ruled that  Irianna, should not be released from custody.

Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis described the judges’ decision as an “unpleasant surprise.” The ruling Radical Left SYRIZA spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said the decision would be recorded in the “black book” of Greek justice and condemned it.


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