On Tuesday, October 2, the sentences were announced in the second trial of the Fire Cells Conspiracy Revolutionary Organization. The trial began in December 2011 and dealt with three bombings carried out by the Fire Cells Conspiracy in 2009: at the apartment of former Interior Vice-Minister Panayiotis Hinofotis, at the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, and at the apartment shared by politicians Gerasimos Arsenis and Louka Katseli.
Recall that since September 7, when Conspiracy comrades Damiano Bolano, Giorgos Nikolopoulos, and Michalis Nikolopoulos walked out of the trial (Christos Tsakalos had already done so earlier) and fired their attorneys, none of the accused comrades have appeared at subsequent sessions.
The judges, as expected, twice assigned the comrades court-appointed attorneys. But the comrades rejected those attorneys, refusing to be represented by them. The comrades therefore received notice that the trial would continue “as if they were in attendance,” which in fact meant “without their attendance,” and the October 2 session went ahead as such.
Bolano and the Nikolopoulos brothers were each sentenced to seven years in prison for “participation in a terrorist organization,” ten years for each of the four acts of “fabrication, supply, and possession of explosives,” and seven years for each of the the three “instigations of simple collaboration in explosions caused by unknown perpetrators, which caused a danger to people and property.” The total sentence for each of the three comrades is therefore 68 years in prison, with the so-called “combined sentence” being 34 years, out of which 25 years must be served (because there is no life sentence in Greece).
Tsakalos was sentenced to seven years for “participation in a terrorist organization,” and he released the following statement:
Statement by Christos Tsakalos Regarding the Fire Cells Conspiracy Trial
Yesterday, while I was sitting down to a chat with my comrades here at Korydallos Prison where I’m locked up, I found out about the sentence the courts imposed on me for the Halandri Case.
It was the finale of a judicial-police performance that ended without our attendance, because weeks ago we had already distanced ourselves from the trial—offending its laws, insulting its power, spitting on its justice, and rejecting its attenuating circumstances.
I had hardly learned of the sentences when some comradely “ribbing” began. The reason is simple. The courts and their puppets separated our sentences, condemning each of my three comrades to 34 years in prison while inflicting a mere seven years on me!
The judicial clergy naturally gave me a “soft” sentence, not because—despite their burning desire—the Antiterrorist Unit was unable to link me to the Halandri Case, but because of the certainty of a more serious sentence of many years that they’re reserving for me in the upcoming trials. Everyone knows that my name is in all the accusatory briefs concerning the Fire Cells Conspiracy (and of course some of them attribute the role of “leader” to me, thereby surpassing the limits of ridiculousness), while the Italian authorities have also initiated criminal proceedings against me.
But the empty eloquence of legal verbiage has never meant anything to me, nor has the democratic discourse of justice, with its presumptions of innocence and its evidentiary proof.
I continue to be an enemy of the black plague of justice and its functionaries.
Therefore, when the first arrest warrants for the Fire Cells Conspiracy were issued four winters ago, I didn’t hesitate for a single moment. The newspapers and television were portraying me as the “head” and “founder” of the Fire Cells Conspiracy, but the Antiterrorist Unit couldn’t find the evidence to issue a warrant for me.
Nevertheless, I walked directly through the doors of anarchist clandestinity and joined my brothers and sisters named in the arrest warrants—equal among equals, friend among friends, comrade among comrades.
Because no arrest warrant and no prison are capable of separating those who defy power, those who make warrants explode with the endless poetry of dynamite, and those whose comrade is fire.
Thus even now I reject what separates us legally, and I throw my “soft” sentence back in the judges’ faces.
I’m disgusted by their hypocritical decency, and I’m keeping my accounts open with the judicial mafia.
Also, to me, freedom isn’t bargained for in the enemy’s courtrooms. Freedom is a strictly personal cause, not to be begged for but conquered—day by day, thought by thought, gesture by gesture, smile by smile, attack by attack.
I continue to be an unrepentant anarchist of praxis, a nihilist against all social peace, and forever an urban guerrilla of the Fire Cells Conspiracy.
I therefore nullify legal truth and the word of law, following the truth I chose to believe and struggle for—my own truth, that of permanent anarchist insurrection and the new anarchist guerrilla warfare.
There, where everything is possible.
—Christos Tsakalos; Member of the Fire Cells Conspiracy (Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front); October 2, 2012; Korydallos