pescao | 13.11.2003 04:16 | Thessaloniki EU
British anti-globalisation protester "framed" by Greek police: lawyer
12 November 2003
A British man who is on hunger strike after being detained in Greece on charges of using explosives during anti-EU riots in June, was framed by police, one of his lawyers said on Wednesday.
"Today we're going to handover to the judicial authorities... a video cassette from a private Greek television channel showing police filling a rucksack with explosives," lawyer Haris Ladis told AFP.
Simon Chapman, a British anti-globalisation activist who was arrested after violent protests during a European Union summit in northern Greece in June, was accused of owning the rucksack.
He has been detained and charged, along with four other anti-globalisation protestors, of possessing and using explosives. The five have been on hunger strike for over a month, demanding to be released on bail ahead of their trial.
Defence lawyers have already submitted to the courts a video cassette from Greek public TV channel ERT-3, which they say shows police swapping Chapman's rucksack for another.
On Tuesday the five -- Chapman, two Spaniards, a Syrian and a Greek -- were transferred from a hospital where they were being kept under police guard to the medical wing of Greece's highest-security prison near Athens.
One of the Spaniards was subsequently returned to hospital because of his deteriorating health. Two other Greek protesters have also been in jail since the EU summit near Salonika, one of whom joined the hunger strike on Monday.
The detention of the activists has triggered sporadic protests by anarchist and left-wing groups in Greece and several fire bomb attacks.
So far, no date has been set for their trial. Under Greek law, suspects facing criminal charges can be held for 18 months before the courts rule on their case.