Four charged over attack on Thessaloniki mayor

first_imgFour men were charged on Monday over an attack on Thessaloniki’s mayor, Yiannis Boutaris.The 75-year-old was attacked on Saturday during a ceremony in the city, honouring the 353,000 victims of the genocide against Pontian Greeks by Ottoman Turkey on the territory of Asia Minor in 1915-1923, during and after World War I.Thrown to the ground, he was then attacked by some 12 people, who started to kick and punch him all over. As a result, Mr Boutaris was hospitalised.According to the director of Ippokrateio Hospital of Thessaloniki, Vana Papachristodoulou he was treated for a leg injury and bruises, and wanted to leave immediately “but we insisted and kept him overnight”, she said.After being discharged on Sunday Mr Boutaris told reporters that he had “lived a nightmare”.“They were hitting me everywhere. Kicks, punches, the lot,” he said.“It was a despicable attack but I am well.”The Greek government openly condemned Saturday’s violence, dubbing the perpetrators “extreme-right thugs”.Meanwhile the attack was praised by Ourania Michaloliakou. The daughter of the founder and leader of Greece’s Golden Dawn party Nikos Michaloliakos, she accused Mr Boutaris of being “anti-Greek”.“Bravo to each and every person individually who did their duty in Thessaloniki today. Respect and a thousand bravos to you all,” Ms Michaloliakou tweeted on Saturday.The suspects, two aged 20, one 36, and another 17, were charged by Greek authorities under accusations of causing grievous bodily harm, along with breaching peace at the event.One of the suspects openly attributed his actions to being angry with the liberal mayor, following a recent statement about pursuing friendlier relations with neighbouring Turkey.Another two told police that they were influenced by the rest of the crowd, and were apologetic for their actions.They expected to be brought to trial on Wednesday, following a request for a two-day deferral by their lawyers.Given one of the suspects is aged 17, he will be tried separately in a court for minors. No trial date has been announced for him as yet.Meanwhile prosecutors are undertaking a separate investigation to see whether charges can be brought against those who instigated the attack, and have yet to be unidentified. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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