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MEPs seek to aid Greek facing trial in Burundi

 Δημοσιεύτηκε στην ekathimerini.gr στις 18/12/2015.

Burundian riot police form a barricade to hold protesters back during a demonstration against the president's bid to cling to power for a third term in Musaga, on the outskirts of the capital Bujumbura, in April.

A decision by Euro MPs earlier this week that called for the “immediate release” of a Greek citizen on trial in his native Burundi has raised hopes of a favorable verdict in his ongoing trial in the East African country.

A police colonel and former UN aid worker, Richard Spiros Hagabimana faces a long sentence in one of the world’s worst prisons, Muramvya, if found guilty of participating in a coup after refusing to shoot at anti-government protesters in June.

A member of his defense team, Alexis Anagnostakis, also claims that Hagabimana has been subjected to brutal torture since his arrest.

The European Parliament’s decision “is a vindication of our actions,” the lawyer told Kathimerini yesterday. “But the trial is still ongoing and every minute that passes is critical to Spiros’s life and freedom.”