Greek policeman guilty of murdering teen

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The Independent Online

A Greek policeman was convicted of murder on Monday for the shooting of a teenager in central Athens that sparked nationwide riots in 2008.

In a 4-3 verdict, a panel of Greek judges and jurors found Epaminondas Korkoneas guilty of intentionally shooting 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos on Dec. 6, 2008, in the central Athens district of Exarchia, an area of bars and cafes popular with self-styled anarchists.

Korkoneas could be sentenced to life in prison later Monday.

A second policeman, Vassilis Saraliotis, was convicted of complicity.

Grigoropoulos' death led to two weeks of riots across Greece, in which youths rampaged through major cities, torching cars and buildings and looting stores. The teenager's death also led to a resurgence of anarchist attacks, mostly focusing on police and government targets.

Two of the three judges and one of the four jurors voted Monday for Korkoneas to be found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter with possible intent, which would have carried a lighter sentence. Korkoneas had insisted the boy was killed inadvertently by a ricochet when the policeman fired a warning shot following an altercation with youths.

The trial was held in Amfissa, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) west of Athens, for security reasons due to fears the procedure could lead to more rioting.