ATHENS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Greek Prime Minister
Costas Karamanlis said on Sunday that those responsible for the death of the
15-year-old boy shot by police in Exarhia district of Athens the night before
should expect no leniency from the state.
In a letter of condolence to the
parents of the slain teenager, Karamanlis promised the state would do everything
in its power to prevent such a tragedy occurring again.
A petrol bomb explodes in front of
police during riots in Athens Dec. 7, 2008. Greek Prime Minister
Costas Karamanlis said on Sunday that those responsible for the death of
the 15-year-old boy shot by police in Exarhia district of Athens the night
before should expect no leniency from the state. (Xinhua/Reuters
The premier's promise came in the wake of the worst
rioting in decades, which swept through Greek cities until the early hours of
According to Athens News Agency, self-styled
anarchists and youths belonging to far-left militant groups ran rampage
throughout the night and again at demonstrations on Sunday afternoon, coming out
in force to protest against the killing of the boy.
The boy was shot during a skirmish between two police
officers and a group of about 30 youths belonging to Exarhia's fringe
anti-establishment movement that attacked their patrol car on Saturday night.
The 15-year-old boy was shot in the chest and died of his injuries shortly after
being taken to hospital.
Regarding the circumstances of the boy's death,
Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos refused to answer questions until the
police investigation was completed, particularly the ballistics report that
would show how the shooting occurred.
He stressed that the investigation would not end
until all those shown to share in responsibility for what occurred had been
punished. The interior minister went on to appeal for calm, asking the public to
assist the police in their legitimate function.
"The police have and will have a defensive function
in order to protect the property and the lives of all Greek citizens. It will
continue to have this function after this isolated incident. And Iappeal to
Greek citizens to help so that there is calm and the legitimate work of the
police can yield results," he said.
The two special guards making up the police patrol
that shot the 15-year-old were led before a public prosecutor on Sunday. The
officer that fired the shots against the boy was charged with homicide and
illegal weapons use, while his partner was charged as an accomplice.
The two officers must now appear before an examining
magistrate, who will set a date when they will present their testimony.
The two special guards were placed under arrest
immediately after the incident when the teenager was shot dead. Also placed on
suspension as a result of the incident was the chief of the Exarhia police
station, where the two were stationed.
Cities throughout Greece were licking their wounds
and taking stock of the damage on Sunday morning. Central Athens was the scene
of chaos on Sunday as buildings, banks, supermarkets, shops and cars were put to
the torch by rioters and streets were cordoned off as protestors wreaked havoc
and skirmished with police.
Violence was also reported in the cities of
Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina and Hania, in incidents that lasted until the
early hours of the morning and then resumed during demonstrations held after
midday Sunday. Several police stations were attacked during the night and police
officers in several cities became the targets of violence, while patrol cars