Policeman charged with homicide, clashes continue
Wednesday 10 December 2008
The policeman who shot and killed a 15-year-old boy was formally charged with homicide and remanded in custody on Wednesday. After a national strike during the day, fresh violence erupted at night in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Read our Observers' accounts of the rioting:
Greece: on the verge of collapse? - our Face Off debate asks the question
A Greek police officer has been formally charged with voluntary homicide over the killing of a teenager, which sparked nationwide riots, a court source said Wednesday.
Epaminondas Korkoneas, 37, has also been charged with the "illegal use" of his weapon of service over the killing of Alexis Grigoropoulos and was ordered to remain in custody by an Athens magistrate.
The officer's partner, Vassilios Saraliotis, 31, was charged with being an accomplice and will also remain in custody, the same source added. The pair have each been held since Sunday.
Ballistics tests conducted in the wake of the 15-year-old's post-mortem reportedly showed the shooting may have been caused by a ricochet bullet, legal sources had earlier said.
According to forensic experts and independent experts acting for the Grigoropoulos family, the bullet "is a bit deformed, which showed the bullet touched a hard surface" before entering the boy's chest.
Fresh clashes between police and groups of youths broke out at nightfall in Greece on Wednesday centred around two key Athens landmarks and in the northern city of Salonika, police said.
A youth claimed to have been struck by a police officer and was taken to hospital along with a woman also hurt during clashes outside the Greek parliament, according to national health officials.
Judicial authorities said a police inquiry into the alleged beating was under way. In all, at least four people were injured outside the seat of the Greek parliament.
Several hours after rallies organised by unions and the Greek communist party to mark a long-planned general strike had wound down, youths again threw objects at riot police outside the Exarchia district's Athens Polytechnic.
The rioters set garbage cans ablaze to block lesser roads into the area after the main avenue was closed to traffic.
Occupied since Sunday night, surrounding roads remained closed to traffic.
In Salonika, more skirmishes erupted near its university with police saying eight people -- including three under the age of 16 -- have been arrested since Tuesday night for looting and attacking property.
Groups including school pupils and students were engaged in an evening stand-off with security forces, having begun a similar occupation there on Monday.
The southwestern city of Patras however was said by police to have been calm on Wednesday.
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