This text was written on the occasion of the 2nd degree trial that will be held on February 9th ,2022 , for the case of Vanggelis Stathopoulos and Dimitris Hatzivassiliadis. In the first instance, the former was sentenced to 19 years’ prison for his practical solidarity with the wounded Hatzivasiliadis and the latter was sentenced to 16 years’ prison for the Revolutionary Self-Defence case. Previous writings of the assembly mention the targeting of the comrades and their political persecution. Here we are focusing on and attempting to highlight the role of DNA in the recent targeting of militants.
Over the past 15 years we have increasingly seen political persecution and even detention on the pretext of finding DNA or a DNA mixture. It has begun to be used sparingly and methodically in cases of militants, with the aim of establishing itself alongside other flimsy police guilt-construction papers, such as anonymous phone calls, cooked evidence and fabricated statements. In terms of the past most prevalent, we heard it in the case of Aris Sirinidis in 2009, later in the case of Irianna and Periclis in 2017, then in the Tassos Theofilou case in 2012. In these trials, the finding of DNA mixture in mobile objects was used as an independent presumption of guilt. These trials resulted in acquittals after the comrades’ suffering prolonged pre-trial imprisonment. Thus, it is clear from the police-judicial power that DNA will be used whenever and on whomever it chooses to attack, in order to confront them with a judicial “deadlock” and exemplarily put the brakes on social resistance.
At the moment, and with all the developments concerning the attack on what public welfare remains, comes a parallel attack on the most radical parts of society. The attack on the resisters starts with junta regulations and bans on gatherings, with limits on individuals, bans on demonstrations, closure of squats/social spaces, followed by police occupation of cities, beatings in the streets and police stations, and at the same time imprisoning militants, creating a climate that is suffocating, fenced off from control and highly belligerent.
Each time, the capture of comrades is done for political purposes and used as a lever to put pressure on those who oppose. In most cases, the targeted deny the charges levelled against them, and there is usually no testimony or evidence to verify the narrative of guilt.Thus, the State and the police, to serve their purposes, to close cases and reinforce the terror hysteria, use DNA. Indicative of the pressure that domestic sovereignty is under is that, in 2 years, it has targeted 17 social activists with the trick of finding DNA, essentially a mixture of DNA, which can be anyone’s (case of 14 students , case of Vanggelis Stathopoulos, case of Kostas K., case of Charis Matzouridis).
In the case concerning the hostage-taking of Vanggelis Stathopoulos, his pre-trial detention was initially decided by a fabricated statement, which was forcibly extracted in the closed offices of the GADA . (Police HQ) This statement was quickly refuted by the signatory as false and inaccurate. A month and a half later, and after the disqualification had already been made, the police, in revenge and in order not to release the comrade for lack of evidence, magically produced a ‘irrefutable’ piece of evidence, that of the DNA mixture. So, in the first instance, for this DNA mixture that they are defending, a doctoral biologist testified that if we took samples from everyone in the courtroom we would all be found in the mixture.
At this point, let’s explain a few things…
Firstly, the DNA mixture – as the word ‘mixture’ itself describes – is a product of mixing, a jumble of genetic information through which the characteristics of people (in our case people with many common characteristics due to their Mediterranean origin) can be traced. These low-quantity and poor-quality mixtures are not able to prove direct contact with a specific donor, but they can also support identification with hundreds of donors.
Also, the material once collected has a high chance of contamination and differentiation at the end.There is also a margin of error in its analysis, which is why the analysis is done twice, the second time as a verification of the first. Verification of the DNA in the case of Stathopoulos was not done, despite his repeated requests. And as if their indifference to a clear right of an accused person was not enough, the court’s bench (April 2021) replies, insulting our intelligence, “why don’t you ask for it?”. An equally important point in the case of Vanggelis is that, due to a previous courtroom dispute (2010), the cops had already forcibly taken the DNA of his comrade. Therefore, there is no confidence about where they can use it, when and with what purpose. Still, the luck factor is important in the case of DNA in terms of mobile objects and the dispersal of our DNA on them, as the way it is transmitted is uncontrollable. The most typical example is the one involving a worker in a cotton swab manufacturing company. This company supplied police forces in several European countries with swabs for DNA collection. Over the years, her DNA has been found at various murder and theft sites, some twenty in total, halfway across Europe (Germany, France, Austria). Always undetected by the authorities and never seen by anyone, even though she left her DNA everywhere. For her capture, thousands of DNA samples were taken from women worldwide. Until the crunch in the credibility of the DNA-based narrative was proven, this woman was vilified by the media as the most brutal murderer in all of Europe. In summary, it is a provocative, arbitrary and unreliable way to incriminate.
The prevalence of the ‘authority’ of minorities is used as a legal super weapon in the hands of the judges to carry out the regime’s predetermined decisions. State interventionism instrumentalises science, contaminating the correctness of laboratory practices and scientific findings in order to confirm the machinations of the anti-terrorist criminologists and their agents. DNA has now come to be used in droves to incriminate militants, despite the scientific, judicial and legal objections of established, academic and social, experts. We are now reaching the point where the anarchist Vanggelis Stathopoulos is in danger of being finally and irrevocably convicted on the basis of the DNA mixture, which, if it happens, will be the first time this has happened in Greece.
The hostage-taking of Vanggelis and its ending in the court of appeal will affect all cases from now on that have DNA as a “prosecution witness”. If this passes, it will create a cyclone of developments in the rights of prisoners and the whole of society. For prisoners in particular, it further degrades them as entities, making them puppets at the whim of judges, and also indirectly deprives them of their right to defend themselves, since there is no room for questioning “scientific truth”. At the same time, any new tool or means of control invented by the regime to control and suppress is first tested on the most impoverished sections of society (e.g. prisons, concentration camps, etc.). Once they have been tested and gained social consensus, their use is consolidated in the wider society. Thus, they are passed on to the quiver of the bosses and all rulers, regardless of the structure, proceed to infect all institutions and destroy any safeguards concerning people’s freedom. By accepting DNA as authority, there is an attempt to include another instrument that intensifies totalitarianism and regime authoritarianism in our lives. The results will be disastrous, excluding the chance factor in life and our ability to decide for ourselves and the reality we experience.
While all this is being negotiated, at the court of appeal of comrades D. Hatzivassiliadis – V. Stathopoulos on 9 February. In this court of appeal, along with many other things we have mentioned in previous texts, the strategy of the State in relation to the imposition of DNA as a convicting element will be decided.
Let’s put cracks in the legal supremacy of the State! Social consent for fairy tales will not be imposed!
Controlling our lives is our business, not the police’s!
NOT ONE STEP BACK!
SOLIDARITY TO ALL COMRADES IN STRUGGLE FOR THEIR FREEDOM AGAINST THE METHODS OF THE STATE