First Ever Conviction of a Greek Policeman for Abuse of Roma

10 July 2002

On May 7, 2002, the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), the ERRC's partner in monitoring the situation of Roma in Greece, reported that on April 17, 2002, the Three Members Misdemeanour Court of Levadia found Police Officer Demetrios Trimmis guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the November 20, 1996, shooting death of Mr Anastasios Mouratis, a 45-year-old Romani man. According to GHM/ERRC field investigation, Officer Trimmis was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for three years. Mr Mouratis, father of six, was shot dead while lying on the ground face down and unarmed after police had set up a roadblock to catch another Romani man suspected of murder (further information on the case is available on the ERRC website at: Police Excesses against Roma in Greece ). Officer Trimmis had originally been charged under Greek Penal Code Article 299 for murder and Article 14 for the illegal use of a firearm, but the Misdemeanour Judges Indictment Chamber of Levadia reduced the charges against him on June 24, 1999. GHM provided legal representation to the family of the deceased at the trial when the family's lawyer failed to show up. The conviction is the first ever of a police officer charged with abuse of Roma rights in Greece.

In other news, in a letter issued by the Headquarters of the Greek Police dated March 15, 2002, the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) and the ERRC were informed that the dismissal of Police Officer G.T. had been recommended. On October 25, 2001, Officer G.T. was charged with reckless homicide in connection with the October 24, 2001 shooting death of Mr Marinos Christopoulos, a 21-year-old Romani man (further information on the case is available at: Killing of Romani man by police in Greece ).

(ERRC, Greek Helsinki Monitor)

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