Trial of anarchist George Papadopoulos
in British military court in Cyprus 04/07/03
The British court at Episkopi military base summoned anarchist George Papadopoulos to be tried concerning events that took place during recent demonstrations against the bases.
Before the charges were read out, our comrade insisted that he wished to refer to the reasons for his prosecution and make some comments. The judge refuses, saying that he must first plead “guilty” or “not guilty” to the charges…
G.P: I refuse to plead in such a way and I want to say a few things concerning my case.
Judge: There is a certain procedure to be respected. No one can just come here and say whatever they wish. Are you so special that you don’t want the rules that apply for others to apply for yourself?
… The judge finally says he will be given time afterwards to say what he wants, and three charges for two separate cases are read out to him:
J: Case one. In July 2002 you assaulted British Sovereign Base police officer Marios Petrou. Also you assaulted the same officer during the course of his duty.
G.P: What happened is responsive violence against the violence of the State. Also, whatever happened cannot even be compared with the murders carried out by States all over the world.
J: Case two. In March 2003 you participated in an unlawful assembly at Akrotiri British Base.
G.P: I consider this charge to be completely ludicrous. It would be funny, if there weren’t certain motivations behind it.
J: It will be recorded that the accused refused to plead to the charges. Legally, this is equivalent to a “not guilty” plea.
… Later, our comrade expressed his views on the matter:
G.P: I am innocent, I consider my prosecution illegitimate, and that it is quite absurd for me to be standing here. You should be in my place instead (he points at the judge, the prosecutor, the translator and the stenographer), the policemen (points at some cops who are in the court), all those whose work contributes to massacres while they say they are just doing their job. Also your insane leaders, the killers responsible for crimes against humanity in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans … (he is interrupted by the judge).
The prosecutor insists that our comrade pay CY£200 bail in cash (!) because he deemed it probable that George would not turn up for the next court appearance. The comrade replied that, first, he considers this trial a continuation of his social struggle and, second, that he had turned up in court even though the summons had not been given to him personally. The judge did not impose bail, but made him sign a bond to reappear in court with a CY£500 fine if he fails to do so.
The hearing has been set for 3rd of November, and the judge says that he will devote the whole week to this case (!).
SOLIDARITY WITH PERSECUTED SOCIAL FIGHTERS
BURN ALL THE BASES AROUND THE WORLD
FREEDOM TO THE PEOPLE ARRESTED IN SALONICA 21/06/2003
Cyprus anarchist nucleus