A 26-year-old MAT riot policeman was arrested by Attica Security police on Thursday for an unprovoked attack on photojournalist Tatiana Bolari while she was covering Wednesday's protest rally in Syntagma, central Athens. He was later released by order of a public prosecutor, until an investigation by a magistrate is complete.
The arrest was made based on a suit filed against the policeman by Bolari and other journalists that witnessed the attack.
The attack, captured on film by colleagues and by-standers, shows the veteran press photographer verbally abused and then knocked down by a blow as she was attempting to capture scenes from a major rally organised jointly by country's two largest umbrella trade union organisations, the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) and the civil servants union federation ADEDY.
These scenes were recorded by TV crews and other photographers that were covering the rally, while other journalists were also verbally abused.
Attica police headquarters announced that an administrative inquiry has been launched to look into incidents of violent behaviour by police at the rally, as well as a criminal investigation into the attack on the photojournalist.
This led to the identification and arrest of the 26-year-old riot policeman from video footage for violating laws on offensive behaviour, causing unprovoked bodily harm and violence. Charges have been drawn up against him and he was taken before a public prosecutor, who ordered his release until the investigation of the incident is completed.
The prosecutor has instructed that magistrate determine whether the policeman is guilty of the offences based on a report by a medical examiner.
Bolari claims in her suit that policeman insulted her using profanities and hit her in the presence of both other police and her own colleagues, who recorded the incident on camera.