Former Greek junta strongman, Demetrios Ioannides, refused to take part in his trial in Athens on Thursday (8 January).
Former Greek junta strongman, Demetrios Ioannides, refused to take part in his trial in Athens on Thursday (8 January). Together with four other officers, he is facing charges of destroying military police files on activities during the 1967 to 1974 military regime.
Major-General Ioannides, former Colonels Theodoros Theophylogiannakos and Michael Pilihos and serving majors Constantine Triantafyllopoulos and Anestis Belos all served in the military police Special Investigations Department, which was responsible for interrogating opponents of the junta.
The files contained statements by political prisoners, many of whom have since sued military police officers for torturing them.
"I understand well the spirit of the trial and I have decided not to participate in the hearings, although I will be present", General Ioannides told the court-martial when it opened at Korydallos prison. General Ioannides, aged 52, is already serving two life sentences there -- for premeditated homicide over the killing of Athens students by troops in 1973, and for treason.
He is a former Chief of Military Police and toppled President George Papadopoulos in 1973. His own dictatorship collapsed eight months later.
SYNOPSIS: The trials by court-martial of officers active during the former military regime in Greece continue in Athens. On Thursday a court convened at the Korydallos Prison, where erstwhile strongman and Chief of Military Police, Demetrios Ioannides, is already serving two life sentences. Along with four other officers he is facing additional charges of destroying military police files.
But Major-General Ioannides refused to participate in his trial, saying that although he understood the spirit of the trial he had decided not to take part, although he would be present. He then said that he reserved the right to make a statement on the files later and dismissed his own counsel. A new counsel was appointed by the court.
Along with General Ioannides other former junta men accused include former Colonels Theodoros Theophylogiannakos and Michael Pilihos and serving Major Anestis Belos.