COPS (ALSO) MURDERED KOSTAS MANIOUDAKIS
The chronicle of the cover-up of (yet another) state murder
On Friday, September 1st, on the Fre-Vrysses country road, in Chania (Greece), Souda’s TAE Cops (Souda’s police operations department) stopped the car driven by 58-year-old Kostas Manioudakis. Thuggery and beating by the cops followed, allegedly due to a -so far unconfirmed- small amount of cannabis found. As a result, Kostas collapsed and eventually died some time later in the day, after being transported by ambulance to Vamos Health Center.
Straight away after his death, the cops spread a story full of deliberate inaccuracies to the local press, according to which the “58-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest, during a random check by the traffic police on BOAK (Motorway Northern Road Axis of Crete)”. The condition of his body, however, as witnessed by relatives and medical staff at the Vamos Health Center, as well as the testimonies from passers-by and residents of the village, and the image of the site where the “control” took place, immediately overturned the impression attempted to be formed by the cops’. As his son pointed out, in his public accusation, the circulation of these news shows that “the cops, once again, followed their established practice to create an atmosphere of a “natural flow” of things. To create yet another story of an unfortunate incident as it would have happened with the death of Antonis Karyiotis, if the video of his murder did not exist. In my father’s case, they presented the facts without any relation to reality in order to hide their responsibilities. But there is guilt clear and exclamatory.”
The mechanism set up in order to cover up the state murder includes not only the police and the local press, but also the coroner: Stamatis Belivanis, a medical examiner who “serves” at the Ministry of Justice of Greece, documented on the death certificate that the death was attributed to “pathological causes without any injuries”, without, however, having officially completed his forensic report to date. Αs if this was not enough, a few days after the murder of Kostis, on September 15th, an accusation was published against the same medical examiner, by Tsichlakis family, regarding his stance on the case of the femicide of Efi Tsichlaki. In this case, the initial narrative attributing her death to suicide came from the wife-killer himself, who was in fact a candidate for parliament with Golden Dawn (neo-Nazi Political Party). Belivanis, in particular, issued his final forensic report a year and a half after Effi’s death, just a few days before the trial at first instance, avoiding, in a future time, to attend the court to testify, despite the family’s request.
The final share of responsibility in the cover-up of the murder undoubtedly belongs to the investigative-judicial authorities. The case file concerning Kostas Manioudakis as an accused, was drawn up by the police on the day of his murder. After five days, a supplementary entry is inserted into the case file, and it is submitted to the prosecutor’s office, as shown by the record in the “offenses and incidents book” maintained by the Apokoronas police station. Since then, the case file remains lost in the bureaucratic abyss, with the family of Kostas Manioudakis still not having access to it.
The case file of Kostas Manioudakis will essentially be the cops’ narration of how the afternoon of the 1st of September unfolded. It will present the facts in a way that removes any responsibility from the state officials, remaining within the “constraints” imposed by the initial leak of the news, and the recording in the incident book. It will document, using specialised police-legal terminology, the cops’ line of defense, regardless of whether they will end up in courtrooms as defendants. But even more important is that it will constitute the crude formulation of the inverted “truth” of power, that is, the narrative that the local branches of the state apparatus, as well as its central administration, will marshal to legitimise their institutionalised brutality in yet another case.
The cover-up of yet another state murder goes through the protection of the state apparatus at all levels. The delay in the delivery of the case file, while the pre-investigative examination of all the testimonies and potential evidence is pending, serves to further falsify it, in order to present the most convenient result for the cops. The state as a whole and the institutions of civil justice in particular are not neutral mechanisms, and of that we have no doubt. Besides, when it comes to fighting people, people who stand against the dominant orders with their choices and attitude, the case files are prepared and delivered within a few hours. Fast-track case files, prepared long ago, when they want to wrap their political opponents in sticky paper, in contrast to the meticulousness, consistency and methodicality they demonstrate in the case of the murder of Kostas Manioudakis, when they want to ensure the maximum possible concealment.
There is no piece without justice, what they did to Kostis will never be forgotten.
The death of Kostas Manioudakis is yet another state murder.
We have no doubt about the degree of corruption of the mechanisms of civil justice. Nevertheless, we stand by the family of Kostas Manioudakis and support the legal struggle that has begun.
From this point onwards, there can be further shades of truth. It is certainly justification when the initial suspicion of Kostis’ beating and torture, a suspicion formed by his relatives when they saw him in the Vamos health centre, is adopted, becomes a slogan and is shouted in the street by a protesting body of hundreds of people, accompanying the family. It is justification when movements are made at a nationwide level highlighting the state murder of Kostas Manioudakis and its political characteristics. It is a justification to expose day by day the cover-up of the murder of a man, in whose place anyone could be. It is justification when a social counter-discourse is formed, competing with the monologue of state death politics and capitalist brutality.
Justice is rendered through the collective processes built in the streets. Only our collective resistances are capable of erecting mounds against the ongoing devaluation of our daily reality and life itself. Our own stake is to upgrade them. From Chania to the flooded Thessalian plain, and from Heraklion to Alexandroupolis, we have hundreds of reasons to fight. We have thousands of rights to win…
In the era of murderers, talk is cheap
Capitalist development is passing over us, and this creates an increasingly suffocating condition, from which no one can “escape”: From the inaccessible supermarket shelves, the deliberate inefficiencies of the state apparatus leaving behind plundered lives and flattened land, to the back-to-back state murders of locals and immigrants, the dispersed brutality and the fascistization of society.
These are not “unprecedented crises” or isolated incidents, as the sovereignty trumpets. What we are experiencing is the result of state policies and capitalist commands. Because the survival of capitalism passes through the sweeping attack on the underprivileged social strata: From the intensification of work, the devaluation of its value and “work accidents”· the displacement from our homes, to convert them into short-term rental apartments· the looting and handing over of natural wealth to the tourism industry and energy giants· the exploitation of all forms of life for profit· the increasing femicides· the murderous stigmatisation of “abnormal” bodies, from Zak Kostopoulos/Zackie Oh!, Nikos Sampanis and Kostas Fragkoulis to Siraj Safdar and Antonis Karyiotis [all of them are just a few snapshots of the upcoming fascistization of greek society].
The engines of development are dyed with plenty of blood. And the police are here to ensure that they will continue to operate unhindered. State murders are not democratic aberrations, nor are they the result of police arbitrariness and abuse of power. In fact, the suppressive apparatus is ideologically doped by the Greek state and enjoys political legitimation-pat on the back in its murderous work, increasingly taking on the role of judging which lives matter – and which don’t.
In this context, the murder of Kostas Manioudakis is only one snapshot, in the gruesome list of police brutality and state murders.
The coming days reek only of misery and death. One thing is certain: In all places where resistance flourishes, the police will be there to enforce the new normality. Itwill be there to legitimize the systematic exploitation of all the oppressed. Let’s show zero tolerance to brutality.
SILENCE IS COMPLICITY IN STATE & MEDIA COVER UP
RESISTANCE AGAINST THE FASCISTIZATION OF SOCIETY
FIGHT FOR KOSTAS, ANTONIS, PAULOS
AGAINST THE BRUTALITY OF OUR TIMES
LET’S PAINT OUR LIPS WITH THE WORD REVOLUTION
EVEN IF WE NEVER WIN, WE WILL ALWAYS FIGHT
** [Family’s Request:] Calling those who passed by the scene on Friday, September 1st, on the Fre-Vrysses country road, from 18:45 to 19:45 and have any information to contact us. **
P.S. On Monday 02/10, the Union of Police Officers of Chania issued another announcement in the local press, in which they admit that Kostas Manioudakis did eventually collapse during his arrest, and not in a random check, as claimed in the initial police leaks. In the announcement they point out once again their “absolute confidence in the Judicial Authorities”, elaborating on the point of the previous statement, according to which “What happened in that fateful moment will be reported by the medical experts “. Given the admission of death during the arrest, but also the scars from the injuries that were evident on Kostis’ body, it is suspicious that the cops invoke the forensic report and judicial system to claim their innocence.Unless they know the final findings in advance, which would justify their audacity to threaten the family, witnesses, journalists, and the antagonistic movement when they write that “the Union of Police Officers of Chania should and will protect its members in this case, both criminally and civilly, and everyone should know that they are responsible for their actions and words”…