The Athens court martial gave sixteen army officers and privates heavy prison sentences on Friday (12 September) for their part in torturing political prisoners during the previous Greek military dictatorship.
SV zoom into CU from left to right seated Spanos, Theofyloyannakos and Hatzizissis with other accused.
SV President of Court sits.
CU President of Court Dighenopoulos sentences Theofyloyannakos.
CU Theofyloyannakos listens.
CU President sentences Spanos.
CU Spanos listens.
SV PAN from another accused PAN over court.
Background: The Athens court martial gave sixteen army officers and privates heavy prison sentences on Friday (12 September) for their part in torturing political prisoners during the previous Greek military dictatorship.
The other fifteen defendants in the trial were found 'Not Guilty.' All the accused served with the Special Investigating Branch of the Athens Military Police which became the most feared security service during Greece's seven years of military rule which ended in July last year.
The three who received the largest sentences were retired Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Hatzizissis 23 years, and Lieutenant Colonels Theodoros Theofyloyannakos and Anastassios Spanos who got 20 years each. The three colonels were commanders of the special branchy during the military regime.
During the 36 day trial the court heard that prisoners were left without food are water for days, forced to eat their own excrement and subjected to mock executions.
Before court President Brigadier General Democles Dighenopoulos sentenced the men Major Spanos asked the court to let off the soldiers. He said they were only obeying orders and to sentence soldiers for carrying out orders would only disrupt discipline in the armed forces.
The court generally seemed to agree with this idea for the four NCOs and privates who admitted carrying out the tortures received lighter sentences-from three to six years. The other defendants were sent to prison for periods from fifteen years to five months.
About 80 army and police officers will be tried in the next few months on similar charges.