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Summary of court pleadings of Epaminondas Korkoneas in police murder of 15 year old youth
Summary of the main points of the pleadings of Epaminondas Korkoneas, the police officer who shot Alexandros Grigoropoulos
Summary from the pleadings of Epaminondas Korkoneas, the police officer charged with intentional homicide in the case of Alexandros Grigoropoulos
Here is his version of the events.
Korkoneas said that he and his partner were in the patrol car at the intersection of Charilaos Trikoupis and Navarinou Streets when they were attacked by a group of 30 youths who yelled vulgarities at them and threw rocks, sticks, bottles, metal ashtrays, and firecrackers at them. According to his account the two police officers were disturbed and afraid, so they called the Rapid Response Center and got instructions to extricate themselves from the situation.
They then drove up the street to the new offices of PASOK, parked the car, and informed the riot police on duty that there was a dangerous anarchist group in the area. In order to get more information they went back on foot. The crowd, now bigger, moved towards them, according to Korkoneas, throwing the above items as well as molotov cocktails. Korkoneas' partner threw a flash-bang grenade to try to get them to break off with no effect. When they were 10 to 15 meters away, Korkoneas said they were afraid for their lives, so they turned their backs to the crowd and then he fired two warning shots into the air, maybe a third, he wasn't aware of this but his partner who was also charged in the murder reminded him of it later.
They had no idea someone was injured and couldn't even imagine it, given that all the shots were warning shots fired into the air, so they left and returned to the police department, apparently without any idea that they had fatally wounded the 15 year old youth, according to the pleadings.
Here is Korkoneas' argument that he couldn't have shot Alexandros directly in the chest:
He said that he couldn't have fired the three shots into the crowd because there would have been at least 6 people wounded, not just one, from that distance. Another reason he gave to support his innocence was the following:
"In any case, I never would proceed to such an extreme action, that is the use of the weapon against any person, let alone a youth, given that I am myself the father of three underage children but also a conscientious policeman, as is proven by my until now honorable service."
He said that the medical coroner report, which still has not been officially submitted, describes the bullet as entering the body from the angle of the left chest wall, above and to the left, ending its trajectory at the spinal cord, below and a little to the right, and that the bullet was deformed in a way that means it must have ricocheted and not been shot directly at the victim.
He appears to try to justify his action in any case by describing Alexandros as a delinquent:
In his pleadings he said that the youth and "his company" used to go on Saturdays to attack the offices of PASOK (the center-left political party), and that they once went to a polo game where they participated in disturbances, at which game there were injuries caused to polo players and to the one of the team coaches. He also said: "Note also that the deceased had been expelled from Moraitis School and he changed schools often, a fact which demonstrates deviant behavior."
The remainder of the pleadings are devoted to a description of his family circumstances, his service in the Greek special forces and his service as a police officer. He concluded by asking to be released on his own recognizance, since he is not a flight risk or a previous offender, and has strong community and family ties.