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Double life sentences for the murders of two policemen

21 March 2013 / 14:03:18  GRReporter
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Double life sentences and an additional 25 years in prison is the sentence of the three persons accused of the murder of two policemen in Agios Ioannis Rentis neighbourhood on 1 March 2011.

George Skiloyiannis, aged 22, and his colleague Yiannis Evangelidis, aged 23, were shot during an ambush organized by the criminals whom they had been pursuing on their official motorcycle.

The three-member panel of the Athens Court of Appeal acknowledged no extenuating circumstances for any of the defendants. It convicted Ioannis Savidis and Andreas Pofidis of two murders and six attempted murders. The third defendant George Emerzidis was sentenced for his direct involvement in them. There is a separate indictment for the fourth defendant, Vitali Tersenidis, who has not yet been apprehended.

The other 11 defendants in the case were found guilty and three of them were acquitted of certain crimes. They were convicted of felonies and criminal offences such as forming a criminal group and possession of weapons. The court sentenced them to between 2 and 9 years in prison.

George Emerzidis, aged 20, was not in the courtroom at the time of the announcement of the verdicts. A few months ago, he had been released from detention "by mistake" after another panel freed him from guilt as regards a charge for a robbery.

The court ordered that he be brought against his will but the authorities could not find him. His defender tried to explain his absence with the excuse that he was afraid of being lynched by the relatives of the victims.

Chronicle of events

The bloody clash happened at the corner of Perikleous and Pandeli Nikolaidi streets in the Agios Ioannis Rentis neighbourhood near Piraeus at 6:50 pm on 1 March 2011. Two policemen were killed and two others were wounded during the ambush.

Both pairs of DIAS forces’ members began to chase the criminals after receiving a signal of a jeep that the police authorities had been watching for quite some time. There were four people in the jeep.

During the chase, they opened the windows and started shooting at the policemen with Kalashnikov guns. According to the coroner's examination, there were over 100 bullets in the bodies of the victims.

Two hours later, policemen found the abandoned vehicle not far from the site of the ambush. They found in it the Kalashnikov guns and the pistol, with which the attackers had shot at the victims. The registration plates had been taken from another car that had been stolen from a car dealership in the suburb of Nea Erithrea along with eight other cars. Among them was the jeep that had been used during another robbery in the Viotia area.

The police was watching the specific vehicle because it had been constantly circulating with different registration plates. The investigation of the case lasted about two months. The authorities arrested 15 people who were convicted two years after the bloody ambush.

Tags: Crime newsMurderDIAS policemenLife sentences
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