- Stavros KontonisMinister of Justice, Greece
- Vasilios AlexandrisPresident, Athens Bar Association
Justice for Irianna
- Mr Stavros N. Kontonis. Minister of Justice.
- Dr Vassilios Alexandris, President, Athens Bar Association
29-year-old Irianna lived in Cholargos, a middle class suburb of Athens. She worked as a Modern Greek teacher and pursued a PhD in linguistics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She also taught Greek to young refugees.
Her relatively normal life was abruptly disrupted on June 1st 2017 – when a court of appeal convicted her as a member of the terrorist organisation Conspiracy of the Cores of Fire and possession, transport, and concealment of illegal firearms, and sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
The evidence for her connection to the Cores of Fire was her partner, who was arrested in 2011, on the same charges, and put on trial. Following his trial he was unanimously acquitted at the prosecution’s request. Incomprehensibly, Irianna is now accused of being a member of that organisation because she is related to someone who is not a member of that organisation!
As for the charge of possession, transport and concealment of illegal firearms, the court based its verdict on expert testimony that Irianna’s DNA was found on a magazine (not attached to a weapon), that was discovered in a box (the firearms were never used in any criminal activity) and were found by a mystery witness who did not testify in court and was not cross-examined by Irianna’s lawyers. Even the powerful anti-terrorist squad wasn’t able to locate him. Irianna’s legal team requested that the DNA analysis be repeated by a different expert (from the court’s roster), but was told that the sample was so small that it only sufficed for one test (it was destroyed in the process) and therefore no second test could be carried out. Nonetheless, a second highly respected and vastly experienced expert who has previously worked with the Greek police, Dr. George Fitsialos, considered the results of the existing test and concluded that the results were extremely inadequate and no definite conclusions could be drawn from them. His scientific testimony, full of concrete evidence though it was, was in the end disregarded by the court. In a further twist of cruelty, the court refused Irianna bail pending her appeal to a higher court. The judges found her guilty and, on the same afternoon, she was taken to jail.
A young woman’s life and future is at stake. At times when terror threats are rising and insecurity is widespread, we look to the Justice system to protect the innocent in the face of abuses of power. This seems not to have happened here. This travesty of justice must be stopped.
To his credit, the Minister of Justice, Stavros Kontonis, has now requested from the court the rationale leading to their verdict and we call on him to react as speedily as possible.
With this petition we express our support and solidarity with Irianna and ask the relevant authorities to:
- Reconsider the case taking into account the full range of available scientific testimony.
- To proceed as speedily as possible with the publication of the final judgment and its rationale
- To restore the injustice done to an innocent young woman.
You can read more about Irianna's case here:
- Minister of Justice, Greece
- President, Athens Bar Association
Justice for Irianna
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