The following is a summary of the trial hearing originally written by Sylvia and Giant.
The 8th hearing of Tasos Theofilou’s trial continued with the reading of case file documents.
At the beginning of the hearing Mrs. Paparrousou submitted evidence regarding a book the prosecutor had pointed out during the last hearing in order to establish Theofilou’s guilt, in absense of actual evidence. The book, titled ”Trouble is my business” is a mystery novel written by Raymond Chandler. The prosecutor became irritated and raised her voice in an effort to deny her focus on the book. Documents regarding the findings in Theofilou’s home were also read, which did not reveal any incriminating information. Regarding a fake identity card found inside the house, Theofilou’s lawyer clarified that the possession of one does not constitute a crime since the law is very clear that tampering with an ID and using a fake ID are what constitutes illegal actions. Also the photo on that ID did not depict Theofilou.
The results of the graphological reports were inconclusive and vague, regarding the comparison of the defendant’s handwriting with texts written by people who might be participating in the CCF. The counsels said that the methods used were not scientific since Theofilou was not asked to provide a sample. Excerpts from Theofilou’s short stories were also read prompting one of his attorneys to wonder: “What is the reason behind reading every single detail, even the notes he kept? You have even presented the lab report showing Theofilou’s DNA on his possessions, but what was the purpose of that? To say that his possessions bore his own DNA? Where does this lead to? This is entirely meaningless”.
The next document was extremely significant since it showed the unprofessionalism and the neglect exhibited by the authorities in the investigative process that was followed. As the report shows, the sergeant Alexandra Lolee collected evidence from within and outside the bank on the 10th of August 2012. There were DNA and fingerprint samples collected from cash registers, door knobs and various spots inside the bank, as well as bullet shells and the body of the victim. The result was that the DNA of several unidentified persons was found with the authorities failing to proceed to a thorough investigation of these findings and eventually never being able to identify any suspects. The bank employees were never asked to provide a DNA sample in order to reduce the collected samples to possible suspects. Theofilou’s DNA was not identified in any of the collected samples. It is important to note that the bank was never sealed off as a crime scene and was openly accessed by witnesses who came by to give their statements to the police.
Moreover, the case file contains 46 forensics photographs from the bank exterior but none shows the hat-the only incriminating evidence against Theofilou. Also, the DNA of an identified person was found on the shattered glass right where the struggle took place among the victim and the robber. That DNA sample also does not belong too Theofilou and again, no efforts were made to find where it came from. It is worth noting that every single piece of evidence contains the DNA of more than one person, however, the hat contains the DNA of only one person.
The process went on with the reading of texts from Athens Indymedia, which once again caused the reaction of the audience and K.Papadakis, who said emphatically: “articles and texts from Indymedia now constitute part of the case file but the mobile phone found on the spot of the struggle among the victim and the robber was completely ignored and never investigated, it seems these articles are considered more important for the case.”
Next, were the documents of the cases of Sakkas, Karagiannides, Antoniou, Politis, Mitrousias, with findings that date back to 2010, two years before Theofilou was even arrested. The inclusion of these documents in the trial raises reasonable questions as to what the prosecutor aimed for, since these are not conducive to the moving on of the trial and do not contain any incriminating evidence against Theofilou, since his name is not even mentioned. Once again, the lawyers intervened by saying “why are these documents read, since they refer to defendants of entirely different cases, some of which have been acquitted and others with ongoing trials. You are not aware whether the persons you are referring to have been acquitted or not or whether their connection to the CCF has been established. What is the reason behind reading them aloud in court, since they do not contain any incriminating evidence against the defendant and are completely irrelevant with the current case? The court ought to answer to this question.” Mr. Fytrakis, obviously annoyed, stressed that: “This is abuse of judicial authority. We should have been concerned with the aspects of the current case. It is incomprehensible to present information that does not concern the defendant. As a senior I object.” The objection was overruled by the judges following a quick recess.
Then was the list of all the findings in the residence of Stella Antoniou, who actually got acquitted in her trial. The list of all the objects in the house of K. Sakkas was read right after, in an effort to prove that Theofilou was aware Sakkas kept a grenade in his house, despite the fact that it was not in plain sight and the anti-terrorism retrieved it from a closet. Then it was the expert lab report, which mentioned that no traces of explosives such as gun powder were found on any objects owned by Theofilou. The next document proved the connection of a telephone landline from OTE in the name of Theofilou, right after K. Sakkas’ arrest, which refutes the allegation of the high-ranking official of the counter-terrorism (Mr.Chardalias) that this was a period where “the defendant was in hiding.”
The next document concerned the investigation of the mobile phone the perpetrators left behind. The number seems to belong to a Senegalese national and based on the logs, there was a call to Naxos. As was mentioned earlier, there was a need for a more thorough investigation of the cellphone but instead the authorities ignored the evidence and failed to do that. At this point it is important to remember that right next to the burning get-away car, a boat was seen leaving the island and heading to Naxos on a day the wind was as strong as 8-9 Beaufort. As soon as the Naxos coastguard made sure they were locals, they chose not to carry out any investigation on the boat and its passengers on account of “knowing who they were,” according to an eye-witness who saw the boat leave the island.
The next documents referred to the violent and illegal extraction of DNA from Tasos Theofilou, since he was not facing any charges at the time of his arrest. The police claim they used violence to get his DNA because he resisted his arrest, which was a charge he was acquitted from during the first instance trial.
Next was the document about the scarf the perpetrator was wearing underneath his hat, that is in the space between his head and the hat. The strange thing is that although the scarf was in direct contact with the perpetrator’s head, there was no trace of DNA on it. Mr Papadakis wonders how was it possible for the DNA to travel through to the hat but no sample to be left on the scarf.
The hearing concluded with documents regarding previous cases, where defendants were facing criminal charges based on DNA. Prominent among those was the case of Aris Seirinides, who was facing multiple counts and the only evidence against him was a surgical mask bearing his DNA. Seirinides was acquitted on the basis that a DNA sample on a mobile object does not constitute an evidence considerable enough to ensure a conviction.
The trial will resume on Tuesday Feb. 28th at 9am.