RealNews

Lawyers Want Jury for Greek Terror Trial

Lawyers for suspected members of Greece’s most deadly terrorist group demanded Friday that their clients’ case be heard by a jury instead of by a panel of judges. Claiming a new anti-terrorism law used to bring the 19 defendants to trial was unconstitutional, lawyers also argued that nearly 30 years of killings and bombings allegedly carried out by the suspected members of November 17 were political actions and should not be heard by a criminal court. After hearing arguments from 10 of the 60 defense lawyers, the court recessed until Tuesday. In accordance with anti-terrorism legislation introduced in 2001, the case is being heard by a panel of three judges instead of by a jury. “We object to the jurisdiction (of the court) because not only are the charges political crimes, but … the new anti-terrorist law on which the court is based is unconstitutional,” argued Gianna Kourtovic, a lawyer for the terrorist group’s alleged chief assassin. Defense lawyers maintained the constitution does not allow new legislation to be applied retroactively to prosecute people for crimes committed before it was introduced. Under previous legislation, such trials were heard by a court comprised of three judges and four jurors. Full Story

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