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Police link the explosion at the house of a judge to the kidnappers of Pericles Panagopoulos

23 November 2012 / 15:11:25  GRReporter
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The Greek police directs its doubts in connection with the bombing at the house of Paraskevi Kalaitzi, a judge at the Court of Appeal, which took place in the early hours of Thursday morning, to an old acquaintance of theirs, aged 51. However, they do not exclude that other people might have been involved as well.

According to an article in To Vima newspaper, the police force is investigating such attacks committed in the past against the heads of the prisons in Corfu and Trikala as well as against police officers in Crete. As it states, "The bomb at the house of Mrs. Kalaitzi probably has a direct connection with the fact that she was in charge of the case against the perpetrators of the kidnapping of the shipowner Pericles Panagopoulos, which took place in early 2009."

During the trial, some defendants had accused the judge of being biased and of maintaining more contacts with the police than had been accepted. Their defenders had filed three applications with the request of withdrawing Panagiota Kalaitzi from the process and appointing another judge in her place. According to them, in many cases, the jury she headed had imposed sentences much heavier than those the prosecutor had proposed.

This caused discontent among the defendants. For one of them, who was sentenced to life in prison, the prosecutor had offered for the detainee to be released. The police believe that the attack was the work of common criminals. However, they are investigating the case in all directions.

The bomb was placed at the entrance of a garage in the courtyard of the two-storey building. The house of the judge is on the first floor. The explosion caused serious damage to it and other homes in the neighbouring buildings. Police experts gathered material from the scene of the explosion, which will be tested in specialized laboratories. Preliminary data show that the bomb consisted of ammonium dynamite and gelatine-dynamite. The major damage was due to the fact that the bomb was placed between two walls, resulting in the inability for explosive gases to disperse.

The initial police investigation failed to find credible eyewitness’ proof of the identity of the people who had placed the explosive device. None of the cameras located in the vicinity had recorded suspicious activity. The phone calls that took place in the area around the building at the time of the attack are expected to be investigated too. The police discuss the likelihood of it being related to the explosion of a jeep in the parking lot under a block of flats on 28 September. An investigator lives there, investigating a case of a bank fraud and the activities of an armed group. To date, however, there is no specific information about the identity of the attackers.

"However, we must take into account the fact that during the trial that Mrs. Kalaitzi was heading, threats of bomb attacks against the government authorities investigating them had been made. The suspect, aged 51, is considered a close associate of some of the members of a gang and those organizing bombings in the western suburbs. However, it would be premature to draw such conclusions before analyzing all the data," police sources claim.

Tags: Crime newsBombingCourt of Appeal judgeTrialKidnappingPericles Panagopoulos
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