The trial of 35 Army officers and men (9 Lt-Colonels, 11 Majors, 1 Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 2 2/l ts and 10 NCOs and other ranks) accused of torture of civilians during the 7-year dictatorship, abuse of authority and other related charges, opened this morning before the Permanent Athens Court Martial.
The trial of 35 Army officers and men (9 Lt-Colonels, 11 Majors, 1 Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 2 2/l ts and 10 NCOs and other ranks) accused of torture of civilians during the 7-year dictatorship, abuse of authority and other related charges, opened this morning before the Permanent Athens Court Martial. Some 150 witnesses, including MPs, former military high-ranking military men and students will give evidence before the military tribunal.
THIRTY-FOUR present and former members of the Greek Army will appear before a court martial tomorrow to face charges of torturing political prisoners during the seven-year military dictatorship which ended in July last year.
Among the defendants are 27 officers and seven men who served with the special investigation branch of Athens military police.
They include thee retired officers who served as commanders of the Special Investigation Branch. The three are already serving prison terms imposed by a military tribunal after a trial on similar charges last July.
The coming trial follows lawsuits brought by political prisoners against the defendants.
The indictment, drawn up after several months of investigation, alleges that the defendants used torture to extract information from political prisoners about their activities against the military regime.
"After the establishment of the dictatorship in the country in April 1967, hundreds of officers, students and civilians were arrested and tortured by the military police," the indictment says. "The aim of the detention of those who opposed the regime was to force them to confess their activities against it."
The prosecution has summoned 150 witnesses to give evidence. It is alleged that they were all tortured during interrogation by the military police. Among them are members of parliament, officers, students and civilians.