The three men charged with assault against the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutaris, during an event commemorating the Pontic Greek genocide last Saturday, appeared remoursful and with teary eyes in court during their trial on Wednesday.
The defendants all apologised to the 75-year-old Mayor, who had earlier claimed the attack was well-planned with an “instigator and leader” giving the command for the attack and that one of the attackers, the 20-year-old hairdressing student knew martial arts and attacked in such a way as to maximise the bodily harm. Mr Boutaris presented photos of the student taking part in extreme right gatherings during the gay pride parade last Saturday.
The accused said they were “carried away” by the crowd and the whole atmosphere, while the 20-year-old, who has been practicing Tae Kwon Do for 10 years, said he did not know that the kick he used against the Mayor could cause such damage.
The second 20-year-old claimed he did not assault the Mayor, but he “took a windshield wiper and caused damage to the car. “I apologise to all,” he said, while his father who was present in the court also apologised.
The 36-year-old expatriate, who has a criminal file. claimed that he did not even know who he was hitting. As he said, he heard that the Pontians were gathering, and that earlier there had been a gay pride parade and he was angry.