Greek Journalist Shot

Contributed by RedNickD

Greek journalist Sokratis Giolias, age 37, was shot to death in front of his Athens home on Monday morning. Giolias was the news editor at Thema 89.9, a private radio station in Athens, and of a tabloid called Proto Thema. He also wrote for a blog called Troktiko, which was famous for writing about scandals in the Greek government.

Giolias was lured outside of his home by men disguised as security officers. They told him that someone was stealing his car. He was shot at least 15 times once he was outside. At least two or three people had carried out the attack. A burned car, originally reported stolen, was found near the scene of the incident.

Police had originally ruled out the possibility of the attack being the work of leftist militants, but this changed as the investigation continued.

“Examination of 16 nine-millimetre Parabellum cartridges found on the scene of today’s homicide … shows they were fired by two weapons used in the activities of the Revolutionary Sect group,” the police said in a statement.

The Revolutionary Sect, also translated from Greek as Sect of Revolutionaries or Rebel Sect, is one of the leftist militant groups that emerged from the 2008 riots after Greek police murdered a 15 year old. The Sect of Revolutionaries is known for a few attacks on police and one on Alter TV. The rebel organization was thought to be inactive since it hasn’t carried out an attack in 13 months.

A BBC correspondent stated that the journalist was killed by contract killers, and an article on Proto Thema also mentions this possibility. It said that the methodology used was closer to that of hitmen than left-wing militants. Given the fact that weapons used in killings often circulate through the underground, this is very possible.

No group has claimed responsibility for the shooting. Given the history of the Sect of Revolutionaries, they will release an official statement within the next few days if they are indeed responsible. We must avoid jumping to conclusions and immediately pointing fingers. It is hard to understand why a group that has been inactive for over a year would suddenly reemerge and shoot someone. We must also question why the group would adopt the methods of contract killers instead of its usual methods. Were they really “disguised” as security officials? Perhaps the killing was a set up by the police who didn’t like what Giolias was reporting, and they used the name of the Sect of Revolutionaries because it would be easy to get away with it given the groups’ inactivity.