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Two arrested for the attack on the gold mines in Halkidiki

15 April 2013 / 20:04:27  GRReporter
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Involvement in a criminal organization, attempted murder, possession of explosives, arson and causing damage are just some of the charges against the two men arrested for the attack on the site of “Hellenic Gold”. In the affidavit the two men, aged 33 and 44, denied having participated in the attack, which took place on 17 February this year. According to the testimony, they were at home during the criminal act and considered the allegations unfounded and unclear.

The two men were arrested after the police found physical evidence and DNA near the crime scene. The hat of the 33-year-old man had been found about a kilometre away from the devastated site on the day of the attack. According to his testimony, he had lost it earlier in the same area when he had cut trees. According to the information released so far, the same man had been previously detained for illegal cutting of trees near Skouries, where the mine is located.

The 44-year-old resident of the same village also pleaded not guilty, although the police had found in his house a shotgun with which one of the guards at the mine had been shot at the time of the attack. The defendant argues that he is a hunter and that the bullet from his rifle may have ended up on the site during the days when he went hunting.

The testimony of the two defendants has failed to convince either the prosecutor or the judge of their innocence and they will remain under temporary arrest. "These are techniques from Guantanamo," stated George Kyritsis, one of the lawyers of the detainees, after the testimony. According to him, they should be dismissed because they have shown that they do not intend to participate in new offences and their detention is groundless. "I hope that the people will remain calm in order to be able to fight and successfully free the two men from guilt," said Kyritsis in connection with the claims of the supporters of the detainees who had gathered to protest outside the police station in Thessaloniki.

While the detainees were testifying at the police station in Thessaloniki, opponents of the exploitation of the gold mines in Halkidiki gathered at a protest rally in the city centre. They chanted slogans in support of the detainees and against the company investing in the project. The residents of the village of Ierissos and the surrounding settlements are resisting against the exploitation of the gold mines and firmly state that they will do whatever they can to allow the Canadian company to withdraw from the region.

The police are expected to call in the following days 18 more people, for which there has been evidence of involvement in the attack on the site. At the same time, Greek media report that the company's employees are under constant pressure to leave work. According to Mega TV, opponents of the project have isolated workers and engineers at the mine, not allowing them to return to their homes. They are threatened and many of them are staying at a hotel until the situation is clarified.


Tags: Crime newsSocietySkouriesGold minesHalkidikiProtests
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