Kostas Sakkas: Three years on remand in order to… make an example

Translation of Katerina Kati’s article for The Editors’ Νewspaper, 03 June 2013

Re-posted from eagainst.com

He has been on remand for 3 years and was prosecuted twice for the same offence, despite the fact that his name doesn’t even appear in the case file.

The maximum time he should spend on remand expires tomorrow; and he chose this date to start a hunger strike, clarifying that “this is not an act of desperation, but rather to keep up the fight.”

He was prosecuted twice for the same offence. He was put on remand twice.

The maximum time he could be held on remand for the second time is twelve months. But when this time was over, instead of being released, his detention period was extended for another six months. Meanwhile, his first trial has not been completed and the second (for which he is now being held prisoner) has not even started.

All this, seventeen years after the adoption of Law 2408/1996, which prohibits splitting a single case against the same defendant into several cases and imposing multiple, successive pre-trial detentions, in order to prevent that temporary custody extends beyond the statutory 18 months.

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More truths and lies about ERT: was government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou an ERT employee?

In the statement he delivered in the evening of Tuesday 11 June on behalf of the government, when the shutdown of Greece’s public broadcaster ERT was officially announced, spokesman Simos Kedikoglou justified the government’s decision by saying, among other things: “The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, ERT, is a typical case of unique opacity and incredible waste of public money (…) It is governed by opacity in the sector of contract management.”

The irony of this statement was not lost on ERT staff, who were prompt to note that Simos Kedikoglou was himself recruited as an ERT journalist in 1995, at a time when his father, Vasilis Kedikoglou, was a member of parliament with then-governing party PASOK. This was also denounced by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, in response to whom Kedikoglou’s office published a statement, that was reported by To Ethnos newspaper on 14 June:
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Truths and lies about ERT: A former news director answers the Prime Minister’s claims

On 16 June, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras wrote a long opinion piece for the Sunday edition of newspaper Kathimerini (which, incidentally, was published despite the fact that all media were officially on strike) to justify his decision to shut down Greece’s public broadcaster ERT. Former ERT news director Giorgos Kogiannis wrote in turn an answer to the Prime Minister on the newly established ERT workers’ blog, in which he points out several contradictions between Samaras’s claims and some actual facts and emphasizes that Samaras’s criticism of ERT should apply, first and foremost, to his own choices and those of his entourage. We are summarizing this indirect dialogue below.

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The Council of State ruling about ERT: what on earth does it mean?

Last night the Council of State issued a ruling which was hailed as overturning common ministerial decision  OIK 02/11.06.2013 that shut down with immediate effect Greece’s public broadcaster ERT, leaving TV watchers in front of a black screen. The Council of State specifically orders:

1. That enforcement of the common ministerial decision is suspended “exclusively with regard to those items pertaining to a) the interruption of transmissions of radio and television signals and of operations of websites owned by ERT, and b) the fact that ERT frequencies should remain inactive (article 2, § 2, item b of the common ministerial decision).”

2. That competent ministers [i.e. the Minister of Finance and the Minister of State responsible for media affairs] should take “necessary organizational measures for the resumption of radio and television signal transmissions and the operation of websites owned by a public broadcaster until the establishment of a new agency which will serve the public interest, as stipulated in article 1 § 2 of the common ministerial decision.”

But what does this mean in practice?

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ERT shutdown – Live blog 14 June 2013

Good morning and welcome to radiobubble’s rolling coverage of developments related to the government’s decision to shut down ERT, Greece’s public radio and television broadcaster. You can read about what happened in the past three days here, here and here.

Here are a few useful tidbits of information to start the day:

  • The EBU is still livestreaming ERT (watch here). It appears however that ERT radio and television is back on air on analog frequencies in some parts of the country. ERT World seems to be broadcasting normally abroad while ERT radio is broadcasting nationwide through Flash fm radio.
  • The Hellenic Parliament reportedly came under attack from Anonymous last night. It is unclear yet what information exactly they gathered, but the cyber attack was apparently on an extremely large scale and included email correspondence of MPs.
  • The Communist Party’s television station 902, whose digital frequency has been going off air in the last few days, conducted some tests to determine if this was an accident or not, by broadcasting their regular programming and then switching to ERT live. Every time they did, the signal was thrown off air within seconds. In its statement, 902 denounces the government but also digital transmission service DIGEA, a private company which is enforcing the government’s policy to silence anyone who broadcasts ERT.
  • Protests against the shutdown of ERT are continuing in Greece and abroad; for example at least three rallies are planned in the UK today in London, Edinburgh and Bristol. Another one is planned in Sydney, Australia on Sunday.
  • @plitharas compiled here a good sample of international media about the ERT shutdown.
We will be updating this post throughout the day.

ERT shutdown – Round-up of developments 13 June 2013

Protests continued today across Greece to protest the government’s abrupt decision in the evening of Tuesday 11 June to shut down public radio and television broadcaster ERT (see here and here). Several labour unions called for a general strike today, including the civil servants’ union ADEDY, the General Confederation of Labour GSEE and communist-affiliated PAME. The media strike, which started yesterday for radio and television stations, extended today to newspapers. As a result all media except ERT and media re-transmitting ERT were on strike. A large demonstration took place in front of the ERT headquarters in the morning, while several other rallies and protests were held in other cities and towns across Greece and abroad (photo gallery below). The media strike in Greece will continue tomorrow, with journalists’ unions calling upon all unions and citizens to support not only ERT with protecting the compound but also to ensure that media tycoons cannot whip up support or intimidate workers to break the strike in privately-owned media. The journalists’ unions further call upon all internet-based media to embed the ERT broadcast in their websites.

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