The lawyers of Greek terrorist suspect Kostas Sakkas held a press conference to denounce what they said was his unlawful detention by the government and said they would take his case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Greek law only allows 18 months of detention before prosecution but when the time expired in Sakkas’ case, it was extended to 36 months over another charge his lawyers said was bogus and designed to keep him locked up as they decried what they called a “cynical aberration from legality.”
Sakkas, who is accused of being a member of a the Conspiracy of Fire Cells (SPF) militant group, has been on a hunger strike since June 4, the day the legal period of his detention expired. Sakkas admits to being an anarchist, but denies being a member of the SPF group.
They physician who overlooks Sakka’s health, Dr. Olga Kosmopoulou at the General State Hospital of Nikea, where he was rushed due to health complications on June 17, said that “his condition is not good,” that he suffers from hypoglycemic episodes and orthostatic hypotension and has lost 10% of his body weight.
Marina Daliani, one of his lawyers, explained that, “When he hadn’t even been detained for 18 months, his detention was extended due to a new case file, which doesn’t even mention his name. This is a trial that began in April. They have extended the detention for another 6 months, 36 in total, when the legislation states that in any case the total period of detention cannot exceed 30 months. That was an illegal decision that the Appeal Council did not bother to explain”.
She said that the case against him is arbitrary that has led to a clear violation of the Constitution. She said his team believes the ECHR will order his release. “The conviction of Greece is certain. After all, this legal framework was established in 1996 precisely because Greece was previously convicted for similar cases”.
Kleio Papapantoleon from the Greek Union for Human Rights said that Sakkas’ persecution is proof of the judicial system’s failure to properly handle a critical terrorist case in its rush to judgment and to prosecute someone.
The major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA,) which has been accused of siding with terrorist and anarchist violence, said Sakkas, who has appealed for release, was the victim of an “unconstitutional” decision that amounted to “judicial arbitrariness” and a breach of his human rights.
The New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras responded that, “SYRIZA should forget the lessons in democracy and its instructions to the judiciary on how to protect terrorism suspects. It should respect institutions, even this one time, and stop defending all kinds of people accused of anarchy and terrorism.”