The seventeen alleged communist revolutionaries who went on trial in Athens on Monday (January 22) for plotting to overthrow the Greek regime and establish communist rule include Demetrios Partsalides, aged 68, a former wartime resistance leader and a member of the three-man secretariat of the home-based Greek communist party.
GV EXT Court
GV PAN INT Accused seated
MCU Defendant Dracopoulos talking to women
MV Defendant Partsalides talking with other accused
MV Dracopoulos rises as judges enter
SV Police at rear of court
LV Judges enter & sit down
MV Partsalides looking through papers
SV Newsmen taking notes
SV President speaking ZOOM BACK TO Courtroom
Initials WLW/0350 ESP/0407
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Background: The seventeen alleged communist revolutionaries who went on trial in Athens on Monday (January 22) for plotting to overthrow the Greek regime and establish communist rule include Demetrios Partsalides, aged 68, a former wartime resistance leader and a member of the three-man secretariat of the home-based Greek communist party. He faces the death sentence, along with 55-year-old Charalambos Dracopoulos, the group's secretary-general. The two men were described in the opening proceedings, by a police superintendent witness, as leaders of the overthrow plot.
The other fifteen, including five women, face sentences of up to twenty years in jail. One of them is a 27-year-old German woman lawyer who was working in a Greek lawyer's office in Athens when the group was arrested in October, 1971.
The police superintendent, Evangelos Mallios, the prosecution's opening witness, told the five judges that the banned Greek communist party split in 1949 after an unsuccessful armed rebellion and there were now two parties -- one with its leaders based in an Eastern European country, and the other at home. He also produced leaflets and booklets, allegedly issued by the home-based party, which spoke of the use of violence to overthrow the present regime and establish a communist-socialist state. Mr. Millios said the party was responsible for a bomb attack against the United States Embassy in Athens in 1971, and wanted to organise its warfare tactics on the lines of the Tupamaros urban guerrilla organisation in Uruguay.
Nine witnesses were expected to give evidence for the prosecution in a trial that could last for several days. The defence has summoned about forty witnesses, including former government ministers, university professors, actors, journalists and former diplomats.
Several foreign observers were attending the trial, including representatives of the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Commission of Jurists and the Italian communist party.
SYNOPSIS: Seventeen alleged Greek communist revolutionaries who went on trial in Athens on Monday for plotting to overthrow the military regime by force and substitute a communist rule, included two leading members of the illegal home-based Greek communist party.....
..... secretary-general Charalambos Dracopoulos, aged fifty-five.....
..... and Demetrios Partsalides, sixty-eight, a wartime resistance leader and a member of the three man party politburo. He and Dracopoulos face the death sentence if found guilty, while the fifteen other defendants - including five women - face terms of up to twenty years in jail.
When the court went into session after it had been cleared of television cameras, the first witness - a police superintendent - said the group had been responsible for a bomb attack on the United States Embassy in Athens in 1971. The seventeen defendants were arrested in October the same year. He also alleged they printed and distributed leaflets which spoke of the use of violence to overthrow the Greek regime. The trial was expected to last for several days - with about fifty witnesses giving evidence.