Necati was raped and tortured by Greek coastguards on the island of Crete in 2001, while an immigration detainee. Today, 5 years after the event, 5 men found guilty in 2004 (though charged with lesser crimes of abuse and sexual assault) remain in uniform. An appeal that we understand will see their acquittal today takes place in the absence of Necati and in the absence of his evidence. Necati's letters to the court have been ignored, and his attempt to telephone the court revealed astonishing bias in favour of the guilty coastguard officers. such is justice in Greece. The Prime Minister's office and the President's office have so far declined to comment.
necati zontul and front cover torture cartoon film "My big fat greek... welcome"
necati zontul film with cartoon of Prime Minister simitis avoiding a response
necati zontul still 1
traditional Cretan hospitality -still from film
necati zontul's assailants as found guilty of abuse and beating in October 2004
To The Greek Prime Minister’s Office:
20th June, 2006:
to Ioannis Andrianos
Thank you so much for talking with me this morning.
A response would be appreciated from the Prime Minsiter and it would be useful to know whether the case has gone ahead today or not. Obviously, because of the evident and contemptible bias (detailed below) in the Military Court office, it is unlikely that we shall telephone the Military Court for further information, so we would welcome any information that the Prime Minister's office can provide at this stage. I am sure you will appreciate how deeply distressing this case has become and in what a poor light it shows Greek Justice today. A film that details the events is to receive its premiere later this summer in the UK and a sequel is already in preparation, highlighting the inadequacy of the legal system, and the failure of the Greek Government to address this issue at all to date, and will be screened later this year. A number of magazine and newspaper articles are already appearing in the International press. We shall, of course, be contacting the Grek Embassy in London for any comments they may make on your behalf and on camera on the story. We have already filed a complaint with the Greek Ombudsman on the advice of the European Ombudsman drawing attention to the fact that our many letters to both the Prime Minister and the President of the Hellenic Republic have so far gone unanswered and that letters sent to other Ministries have been equally ignored. This is not the way to deal with a victim who alleges, and whose allegations have already been upheld in the Court of First Instance, serious human rights abuse by men wearing Greek Uniform. Neither is it a way to establish the principle that Greece values hospitality and the principles of civilization, neither of which, sadly, has been in evidence during the progress of this case.
I look forward to your response.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 10:05 PM
Subject: NECATI ZONTUL appeal...
To the Prime Minsiter of the Hellenic Republic,
k Kostas Karamantis
Dear Mr Karamanlis,
I am enclosing the text of a letter I have sent today. I think it is self-explanatory, and I look forward to your comments. A Greek version of the original letter follows.
8th June, 2006
Supreme Martial Court
Petrou Ralli 1
Dear Kommander Kaliouropoulos,
I am enclosing a letter dated 1st June to which, in over a week, I have received neither an acknowledgement nor a reply. In itself, this is either (as indeed I take it to be) a gross discourtesy or a reflection on the inefficiency of the Greek Post office and its Navy. I am, of course, beginning to get used to receiving no reply or getting a tardy and scant answer to letters I have sent to officials in Greece who are responsible for the progress of justice in Necati₼s case. I have, however, on occasion and much, much later, extracted an admission from unguarded secretaries that various letters have been received, though I have never yet received a proper written reply. Time presses, however, and it would be wrong to delay further.
I am, therefore, putting you on notice. Unless I hear from you by the close of business on Tuesday 13th June, I shall assume that your office does not intend to conduct the appeal of Dandoulakis and his companions in an orderly and just fashion as laid down by the EU and all international bodies of which Greece is a member as well as in the extant Presidential Decrees of the present Republic. You have had five years exactly. This is not a land dispute, like some "Bleak House", that I know in Greece can go on for decades. This is about a man who appealed to you for help and who says you responded by beating his companions and by putting a trungeon up his anus with the repeated taunt of “poso, poso;” This is a far cry from the hospitality for which you have a special word, “philotimo”. This is also about racism, threats and bureaucracy that have conspired to see him flee for his life to another country and that have made me question my lifelong affection for Greece and my espousal of Orthodoxy. Believe me, I now hold the Cleric who claimed on National Television “all Turks are Barbarians” in response to my appeal for His help when we were both threatened by men with guns, to be directly responsible for the racist and bigoted state of mind of the men who committed the atrocities in Hania and of those who support them. In every way, this is an outrage that "calls to heaven for vengeance"!
Even should you reply before 13th June, you must also bear in mind the conditions we have already imposed because of the lack of transparency in the progress of justice in this instance. Namely,
a) the resignation of members of the forces who allowed a cover-up, especially in the press, to take place particularly between 6th and 8th June 2001;
b) credible reasons why the period of abuse recorded in the court of first instance was limited to 2 or 3 days and does not extend to 1st June;
c) a formal apology in writing from the ministers currently responsible for the departments of Merchantile Marine, Defence and Justice for their Ministries₼ role in a cover-up, and for their Ministries₼ individual failure to respond to reasonable enquiries; the reinstatement of Necati as a civil claimant to the case and the award, on grounds of the guilty verdict of October 2004, of appropriate damages/ and or compensation by the Navy on whose behalf Necati suffered such indignity (without such an award being made, it is clear that the "guilty" verdict was never in fact a serious contention, but was lipservice to media attention);
d) an apology from the President for the injustice so far done to Necati by members of the Navy in (i) conducting the trial in a tardy manner; and (ii) allowing clear bias in favour of your troops to be expressed openly to him by members of your office; and for the President₼s failure to reply to previous letters. This is apart from a general expression of sympathy that I would expect from any man or woman in public office who might observe that members of the armed forces have acted irregularly.
The longer it takes to get a proper reply, the more insistent we must be on full compliance and the harder we will press for it in addition to our pressing for proper justice to be done, proper sympathy and respect to be shown and proper compensation to be awarded. Do not deceive yourself at all, Kommander, about the tenacity I possess and the moral outrage I personally feel at the way in which this case has been handled. We believe your Navy courts have conducted themselves, in both Hania and Athens, with neither the speed nor impartiality that international treaties oblige a Greek court to respect in cases involving alleged torture.
The Greek Embassy assured us that we might take up concerns about the abuse of the legal system during this case, but I regret to inform you that the Bar Associations in both Crete and Athens have failed to respond to our enquiries.
You will have noticed that there is already coverage of this case in this month₼s international news, though articles refer incorrectly to Necati₼s failure to pursue "a case" for compensation; in fact, as you know, he has brought no such case because he is prevented by procedure, and manifest bias, quite apart from unreasonable and seemingly indefinable costs and levies that go to the pocket of legal societies within Greece and particularly Hania, a town whose legal body that has done nothing to plead for justice to be done, or assistance to be given him. Indeed, our only experience to date of the judiciary in Hania is of Michaelis Apostoleides who attempted to coerce Necati in 2002 into pressing lesser charges against his assailants on the basis of a seriously faulty translation, also made in Hania by a woman engaged by the Navy who is on record saying on 12th June 2001 that she does not “want to make Greece look bad”, and in languages Necati did not properly understand. Apostoleides has never responded to a letter sent to him, on our behalf, by the Greek Helsinki Monitor and I have called repeatedly for his response in letters to many Ministers and to your own Court. It was no surprise at all to us, therefore, that lesser charges were ultimately brought against the defendants in 2004.
The sympathy I have demanded to be shown Necati is a simple request that has been ignored. Sympathy does not constitute an admission of guilt but it certainly constitutes the first stage of a civilized response to the occurrence of regrettable events. For the record, Necati has already expressed some sympathy, on his own part, for the plight of the guilty Coastguards₼ families, who have endured with them, a miserable wait for their trial to be over, and who, during this time, have shared their shame and particularly that of Dandoulakis who was caught in a dirty act, exposed, I must presume on the evidence I have to hand, in the machismo world of the Greek Navy as a closet homosexual and, in the strictest use of the soubriquet, a “sadist”. We certainly hope this miserable man has been offered counselling, and that efforts have been made by the Navy command to ascertain whether he or other Coastguardsmen attempted to sodomise the other detainee who alleged similar treatment to that Necati experienced. Who knows how many others were too ashamed or too intimidated to speak out.
Indeed, we believe, in the light of the continued instances of the serious abuse of foreigners in Greece in 2004 and recently in 2005, as well as the treatment of Roma, gays and Albanians we read about while we lived in Greece, that the torture of detainees is tantamount to official policy, and it may be inappropriate at this stage to punish 5 men who might argue they were following orders without also punishing their ultimate superiors in the same way. We would, of course, argue that it is not obligatory for any serviceman to obey orders that are immoral, and that obedience is not in itself an excuse for doing wrong, but we understand the dilemma they must have faced, and we have sympathy for them as scapegoats.
Please remember that you are the guardian not only of a 200 year Naval tradition that is honourable and courageous. You are also the guardian of the reputation of Greece which is known to most of the world only through its distant mythology. I urge you not, therefore, to encourage people to see in Greece the spirit of a wayward god who abducts Ganymede, or the (in)hospitality of Sisyphus, but instead to remember the kindness of Alkinous to Odysseus, and the reward granted to Baukis and Philemon and why.
I look forward to hearing from you.
1st June, 2006
Supreme Martial Court
Ανώτατο Στρατιωτικό Δικαστήριο, Πέτρου Ράλλη 1, Αθήνα 177 78, Ελλάδα
Dear Commander Kaliouropoulos,
I am writing on behalf of, and with, my partner NECATI ZONTUL after speaking to Katerina Triandafilou, a member of the Combined Supreme Martial Court office in Athens. She has informed us on 22/05/06 that an appeal by G S Dandoulakis, C I Florakis, G. I Lefakis, A Moumzis & Vardakis found guilty on 16th October 2004 of assaulting refugees and my partner, is due on 20th June 2006. The five men, she claimed, are to appeal against the judgement as well as the sentence of the Navy Court in Hania. She said, and repeated, that she believed the sentence was too harsh (The suspended sentence of two and a half years given to Dandoulakis for a breach of sexual dignity, is the same as that given recently to two uniformed British sailors found guilty of verbally abusing a middle-aged Greek couple in the port of Hania, reported Eleftherotopia 22/05/06). We requested a transcript of the original court proceedings. Ms Triandafilou directed us to contact the British Embassy in Greece or the Greek Embassy in the UK to formally make such a request on iour behalf. So far, both declined to do so and the British Embassy today has kindly passed on details of the protocols under Greek Law that prevent them making such a request, which I am enclosing. I have, of course, wasted a lot of time following up on this, and I am left wondering whether this might not have been ms Triandafilou's intention. She also informed us that though a Greek lawyer could still represent Necati in Court, she could not confirm that Necati₼s testimony would be heard; when pressed, she admitted that there was no record of his name in the list of witnesses or in witness submissions that the court will consider. We find this astonishing.
Given the absence of his testimony in this hearing, I cannot see that a clear case against Dandoulakis can be presented, save that he was involved with about 10 other men, some of whom were also convicted in 2004, in the beating of migrants. The disgraceful issue of abuse or rape (or even attempted rape) with a trungeon while another officer stood guard, will not be fully considered if Necati's testiomony is withheld or ignored and will constitute an injustice.
I have written previously to k Nicholas Golemis about the appeal and received no reply. (12th October 2005) I also wrote, at the same time, to you and received no reply. When I spoke to Ms Triandafilou in May, I was informed as I was also informed by another officer in October that it was “too late (now) to issue an invitation” for Necati to testify in your Court. Although Katerina kindly pointed out that each court hearing requires a 4-month lead in and only at the beginning of which invitations or summons are sent out, I cannot see how three such hearings can have already passed and a fourth is due this month: surely, with such constraints, 12 months must already have elapsed since the postponed October hearing in 2005? I requested a transcript of the original 2004 court proceedings. I received no transcript and no response from your court.
When I spoke to members of the Navy Court in Hania, I was, nevertheless, informed that the guilty men were “good boys” and was passed on to the office of a local cobbler.
I am astonished by the duplicity, evasion and bias that I have already seen, and I am using this letter to make a formal protest now in the strongest possible terms and also to establish why it is unlikely that we shall be able to accept the terms of the current appeal or to see this tardy, protectionist and biased system as just. It is clear that while members of your office openly parade their support for men found guilty in 2004 that justice is compromised and victims of abuse, like Necati, must feel rightly intimidated, threatened and disappointed. The progress of this case rightly brings shame to the name of Greece and is an insult to a noble history, both of Attic Greece and of the efforts of the men and women who gave their lives in a series of wars to reassert the values of Greece in the modern age.
We are also concerned that five men were accused of lesser crimes than Necati alleges they committed, that the period of abuse that the Navy has examined is a shorter time than the period of abuse Necati alleges and that the State in whose name these men operated has failed uin five years to express any sympathy, remorse of support for the suffering that has been inflicted by men wearing its uniform. I understand from my conversation on 22nd May 2006 that, contrary to EU and UN protocol governing torture trials, the men who have been found guilty on charges relating to 137a, are today still in uniform. Please remember that torture trials are expected to be conducted speedily and impartially.
We have attempted to use Greek lawyers: one absconded with the legal papers, another claimed in the press to have represented Necati in court, though they never met, and later his office claimed he had never represented Necati. A third appears to have been intimidated and a fourth was deeply abusive. We understand that changes to the Greek law require us to use, and pay, a local lawyer and a National from Hania, though there is clearly no guarantee that he or she is not linked with the five men who abused Necati. I hope you will understand, therefore, how we feel it is difficult to put our trust in Greek lawyers, and it is for this reason that we have written to you directly. We are also sending a copy of this letter to the offices of the various Government officials who have hitherto been rude enough to ignore our previous letters. We would appreciate any helpful advice.
The apparent travesty of Justice that is displayed at the moment follows a series of serious threats to us in 2003-4 that were made by men with guns who claimed to be acting in the interests of the accused Coastguard and special service operatives who were later found guilty of abusing their office. We do not claim that the men who threatened us were either Greek or acting on the orders of the Greek Judiciary, but the bias we have observed in your offices strongly supports our suspicion that the Navy Court system is compromised and that people may draw the assumption that the harassment and threats we sustained were condoned. Certainly, the Greek Navy Courts and the Greek authorities have made no attempt to publicly condemn the victimization we suffered or to offer us security as they made no attempt to offer assistance to the victims. There are parallels to the current appeal in the acquittal of a number of policemen recently who were charged with and/ or found guilty in the court of first instance of serious human rights abuse. Amnesty has already registered its concerns, particularly because in some instances, insufficient effort has been made by the court to summon the witness, or indeed that there is evidence that the summons to the witnesses purposely went astray.
Given the failure of the Greek courts to address the issue of Necati₼s security and the absence of legal documentation from the courts in Hania and Athens, we propose that Necati be permitted to present his evidence and to be cross-examined by the defence team from Athens on a video link with the UK. We would be happy for this to be arranged through the Greek Embassy in London though we would expect to have our own legal team present as well as diplomatic representatives. We believe there is sufficient time for this to be arranged before the 20th June. Any costs, at this stage, should be met exclusively by the Greek Navy. To this effect, we are also sending a signed affidavit from Necati which has been prepared by our solicitors in the UK. This will support the statement Necati gave to the Piraeus Naval prosecutor in 2002 (05/07/02).
I have written a number of letters to the Hellenic Government requesting protection and assistance. My letters, as well as letters written on our behalf by members of the European Parliament, have gone unanswered and the issues I have raised have not been addressed.
The specific issues are:
1) security in the light of sustained physical and verbal harassment in Greece
2) legal aid: on a principle of EU equality, so far denied Necati, but granted since 2002 to other (female) victims alleging rape
3) an investigation into abuses in Greek-staffed NGOs that led to inappropriate interrogation of Necati by DHK-PC partisans, members of a proscribed group and the attempt by Greek lawyers and NGOs to suppress Necati's testimony of penetration.
4) access to court testimony in 2004, evidence of what testimony was before the court and a copy of the 2004 court judgement
5) reinstatement of Necati Zontul as a Civil claimant in the case because he was assured by the Greek Embassy in London in Aug 2004 that he would be informed “by the competent authorities in Athens” of anything pertinent to the case, and that the Embassy was “unaware of the trial” on 16th October and in the week beginning 11th October 2004. He was not informed of the beginning of any case and no attempt was made to alert him at the address available to the Greek Embassy and "competent" authorities in Greece.
6) A response to our concerns about the attempt on 26th June, 2002 by Prosecutor Michaelis Apostoleides to coerce Necati in languages he did not understand, and in the absence of a translator, into pressing lesser charges against his assailants.
7) a) A response to our concerns that no legal action has been taken, to our knowledge, against Lisa Turkuman who knowingly mistranslated and seriously reduced Necati₼s original testimony in 2001 (as clearly noted and recorded by your Piraeus staff in Necati's testimony 5th July, 2002).
b) A response to our concerns about the standards of official translation and the proper selection of official translators. Necati witnessed translation by known members of insurgent groups, of whom he was intimidated; and was on no occasion given the opportunity to hear a full and comprehensive translation of any statement he had given. Even the statement given in Piraeus in 2002 is studded with glosses and inaccuracies because the translator gave only a cursory summary to Necati of what he was about to sign. We urge the setting up of clearer guidelines for the future.
8) A response to our concerns about the involvement of senior Government Ministers and ranking Navy officers who were involved in the attempt to cover-up the incidence of torture in Hania in 2001.
9) Access to the court, translation facilities and proper monitoring by legal representatives from the UK and Turkey. Given the failure of the court to provide information so far, we believe any and all costs should be met by the Navy Court, perhaps as a gesture towards renewed transparency.
10) We trust this case will lead to the proper recognition of male rape in Greek law and will also lead to greater credibility granted to foreign victims of crimes committed by the Greek security forces.
11) This case is one in a series of high-profile cases involving the serious abuse of power by the Greek security forces and in each instance, either the defendant has been acquitted because of errors in contacting witnesses, because witnesses claim to have been intimidated or because they have fled the country or were already dead (as in the case of the rape of Olga B, and a number of incidents involving the misuse of firearms by the police); it is also paralleled by the trials of men accused of torturing Afghans in December 2004 and of torturing Pakistani men in 2005. Neither the police accused of the 2004 atrocity nor the EYP have yet stood trial. In the latter case, attention has been drawn away from the allegations of torture by Greek Secret service agents to the question of the abduction of these Pakistani men by foreign operatives. It must be strongly stressed that neither the Greek Government nor Judiciary, with or without the assistance of rogue NGOs, can continue to overlook the human rights abuse by its men in uniform. Neither the example of events in Abu Ghraib nor the presence of British MI5 agents can ever excuse the fact that Greek men in uniform are now accused of torture, and both they and the State in whose name they act must account for their behaviour, make restitution to the men, women and children they have abused and apologise to the world community.
I am deeply shocked that my letters have gone unanswered and that such discourtesy is encouraged in a European country. But there is a deeper issue: the correspondence we have sent in both English and Greek (and acknowledged, for example, to have been received by Katia Georgiou, diplomatic secretary to the President and now Consul to Germany, on the telephone- though the written reply she promised never came!) means that it is utterly inappropriate for your office at any time to claim to be unaware of Necati₼s name or his testimony, or not to have access to his address. If you were actively searching for him, even our regular telephone communication and efforts to get information from you would have provided enough opportunity. Regrettably, as in the parallel case of Olga B (allegedly raped in 1998), there is little alternative but for us to conclude there has been either an attempt to suppress Necati₼s testimony or a litany of laughable inefficiency at the highest level in the Navy Court. In either case, before taking any further action, we would expect senior officers to offer their resignation immediately in an attempt to salvage the dignity of the great Judicial, Naval and Military traditions of which you are guardians. We would also expect a formal apology from the Ministers responsible for the running of the Navy, the Coastguard and the Judiciary for the failures we have so far endured and the insults to Necati's dignity you have permitted. This is in addition to a letter of apology from the President, responsible for the running of the Armed forces, for the serious problems that have prevented Necati seeing justice and compensation for injuries he sustained at the hands of men in uniform.
We are sending a copy of this letter to relevant Embassies and agencies and will assume, in the absence of an immediate, thorough and satisfactory response in English that any further silence constitutes a clear statement of bias, and confirms our suspicion that we shall not see justice done within the present Greek judicial structure.
From the British Embassy:
Dear Mr Wilson
Further to our conversation this morning, I am writing to confirm that there is a strict rule in Greece whereby authorities will only relase information to local lawyers representing next of kin (NOK) but not to third parties (including consular staff). This has not always been clearly understood by UK authorities and judicial organisations who assume that, as in other countries, the Embassy can simply ask for eg a court decision and be given it.
I hope this information is useful in persuading your lawyer that he must apply to the courts for the information you are seeking.
British Embassy Athens
12th October 2005
To: The Prosecutor,
Nicholas Golemis and acting Judiciary
The Naval Court
Re: Action against G S Dandoulakis, C I Florakis, G. I Lefakis, A Moumzis et al. October 2004
I am writing to protest at the suggestion by Naval Prosecutor Michael Tsaganakas, based in Piraeus, that the Navy court in October 2004 did not seriously consider the issue of rape or torture in the above case.
I specifically alleged both rape and torture, and these allegations are clearly present in my statements to the press on 4th October and in my deposition to the Piraeus prosecutor on 16th July 2002.
Michael Tsaganakas also alleged that the prosecution wanted to gaol the defendants but was unable to do so because I was not in court to testify. Please be aware that the Greek Embassy in London had promised that I would be kept up to date on the progress of the case by competent (sic) authorities in Athens. But even in the week immediately before the court case, they denied that any trial was taking place. So far, the Greek Navy and Government have failed utterly to inform me of the outcome of the trial in 2004 or to inform me of any appeal.
On the two occasions I submitted testimony in Crete, I saw my statement mistranslated by Liza Turkuman and a Court Prosecutor, Michaelis Apostolides attempted to bully me into answering questions in languages I did not fully understand in the absence of a translator. No explanation, nor apology has ever been received from the Navy for this behaviour.
I was the victim of serious harassment and threats to my life in the period between 2002 and 2004. Despite requests, I received no assurances that I would be protected, and indeed, before I left Athens, I was attacked at my house by men with guns.
Please explain whether appropriate compensation has already been arranged in respect of the original October 2004 prosecution, when a public declaration of non-recurrence will take place and when I can expect to receive an apology from the Greek militia and Government. Please explain why the full remit of Article 137a was not used, and the reason why it was alleged in court, and reported in the "Haniotika", in contradiction of my written testimony, and without the evidence of other witnesses, that "penetration" did not occur.
Please ensure that all legal papers relating to the case are properly sent to REDRESS who is handling my case in the UK, together with a complete transcript of the October 2004 trial and translations of all relevant documents.
Formal letter to Commander G. Kaliouropoulos, Supreme Navy Court, Athens
1) Necati was a civil claimant in the case against G S Dandoulakis, C I Florakis, G. I Lefakis, A Moumzis & Vardakis. Because of this, he submitted testimony in Piraeus in July 2002. Why has he not been informed of the outcome of the case despite repeated requests of his supposed lawyer (Mavroidis, the GCR, the Hellenic President, The Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, Commander Kaliouropoulos, the Navy Court at Hania, the Navy Court in Piraeus, all of whom had access to his address. Why was his Embassy not formally provided with this information?). No effort at all has been made to contact Necati, and efforts by Necati and his legal team to gather information from the Greek court have been completely frustrated. (NB: silence about this current "appeal" parallels the last court case in October 2004- in the week of the October 2004 trial, the Greek Embassy in London gave no information of a trial, despite their written commitment to keep Necati informed by the competent (sic) authorities in Athens, ref: 13 10 2004 with ref to 10 08 2004, F.600/AS 1375)
2) What testimony was before the Court in Oct 2004: Clarification that the testimony Necati submitted in 2002 was used in court, rather than the extremely condensed, mistranslated and misleading testimony recorded by Lisa Turkuman in 2001.
3) We require a full transcript of the October hearing: this is because we were not properly informed of the trial in advance, because Necati is a civil claimant to the case, and a victim.
4) Rape and not attempted rape: Explanation for the assumption reported in the Haniotika of “attempted rape” ("In the court it was said that penetration did not occur."), despite the evidence of Coastguard Diamandis Vassilakoudis, also reported in the Haniotika, who corroborated the account of the rape detailed in 5th July 2002 ("Then, he pushed the club down on the back of my neck, indicating by that that I should bend and then with force pushed it up my rectum. The pain was excruciating and I cried out....I collapsed in pain and then he gave me another kick and left.") and earlier "They took me to the toilet," he says. "One coastguard took out his truncheon and beat me on my shoulders and hands. Pulling at my trousers, he tried to rape me with the truncheon. I resisted. I fell down and he kicked me to make me stand up. He continued. I was in great pain." Athens News 27/02/2004 reporting account given on October 4th 2001.
5) Male rape is not recognised in Greek Law. This is a principle emphasised by GHM and a number of lawyers we consulted in Greece prior to 2005. However, Kathimerini 18 05 2005 reports the arrest of a 60 year old man for “allegedly raping his 17 year old retarded” neighbour. We understand that male rape is recognised in the new Turkish penal code, as is torture. Both are condemned.
6) Rape in custody is torture: Greek legal assumption that because there was no interrogation, there was therefore no torture committed by the Coastguard (cf article 137a) needs to be absolutely challenged. There is a long history of this assumption in Greek Law. The beatings given by the Coastguard went on for many days. A gun is mentioned in the testimony of Rahme Tung, and by Necati. Serious harm was done to the migrants and some were hospitalised. Another man, Youssef was also allegedly raped (Necati makes reference to this in his testimony). Necati's rape was, therefore, not an isolated incident.
7) This case must be considered together with the case of torture in Christmas 2004, Ag Panteleimonas. The continued practice of torture in Greece and also the apparent impunity of the police assailants Vangelis Kambossos and officer Christos Trelias in 2004, still not brought to court, suggests together with the reluctance of the Judiciary in the Coastguard case to press the full weight of 137a, and also to be extremely lenient in sentencing the accused, suggests a wider and institutionalised acceptance of torture by the Greek Security forces.
8) Special services: we require full disclosure of the extent of, and justification of the involvement of special services in the confinement of the detainees in Souda summer 2001.
9) Issues of safety: Commander Michael Tsagarakis (Prosecutor, Greek Naval Court, Piraeus) urges Necati to testify and argues that the Turkish consulate might request security fro his protection. We repeatedly requested security protection from 2002-2003, appealing directly to senior members of the Government before being visited in our house by men with guns. We took diplomatic advice, then and concluded that it was unsafe for us to remain in Greece. So far, the lack of goodwill from the Government and judiciary, and their failure to respond to letters does not give us any confidence that Necati will be safe from harm and attack and that they take this case and Necati's security and well-being seriously. This is particularly important and relevant today because of recent reports of the attempted lynching outside Court of Cretan Giorgos Moraitakis.
10) Specific threats against Necati and against the success of the case were made late in 2003 by a man who was sexually involved with members of Greek Amnesty. The man had a criminal record, & commands considerable power in his community. We felt deeply compromised by the NGO.
11) The return of the Legal papers: these were taken from us by Giorgia Tsaklangarou, and allegedly given to Greek Council for Refugees and lawyer Mavroides, who claims in the Athens News (5 03 2004) to be representing Necati. This summer, representatives of GCR assured us that neither they nor Mavroidis represented Necati and that they had never received such legal papers. Tsaklangarou agreed to search for the papers after the intervention of the Holy See in June 2005, but by October 2005, we had heard nothing.
12) A full explanation of the behaviour of Michaelis Apostolides 26th June 2002, and of the intervention of the Ministry of Merchantile marine to deny wrongdoing in the immediate aftermath of the report of scandal 2001.
13) A proper explanation must be given for the mistranslation of initial testimony by LIZA TURKUMAN, and if necessary, criminal charges must be pressed.
14) Confirmation that issues of compensation, apology and non-recurrence will be properly and fully addressed at any appeal
15) Despite omission in the testimony, and despite a trial on lesser charges, 5 men wearing the UNIFORM OF GREECE were found guilty of seriously assaulting migrants and foreigners in Greece. Why has the Greek militia and Government failed to apologise for what happened? Why has the Government of Greece failed to answer letters and to write even a letter expressing sympathy to Necati, one of the victims?
16) We take grave exception to any suggestion that Necati is to blame for the failure of the Greek courts to properly convict the Coastguard. It is entirely inappropriate and offensive for Navy Prosecutor Michael Tsagarakis or for any of the Greek judiciary to apportion blame to Necati for their collective failure to implement article 137a, or to abide by International Conventions against torture which call for speedy and impartial investigation and prosecution.