On April 17, 2013, nearly 200 Bangladeshi immigrants working in the strawberry production fields of the Peloponese town of Manolada, in Greece, demanded to be paid the six months outstanding wages that they were owed. In response, their supervisors opened fire on them, injuring 28 people.
The controversies surrounding the Manolada case and it’s judicial proceedings seem to keep unfolding. The Bangladeshi migrant workers have not only been denied any sort of witness protection or financial compensation, they are now expected to pay legal fees related to the case.
The court recently ruled their employer—strawberry trader Nikos Vaggelatos—as well as one of the accused gunmen, Kostas Chaloulos, not guilty. Two of the other supervisors were, however, charged. One for grievous bodily harm and the other for aiding by omission.
During the trial, the legal team defending the workers asked for the president of the Mixed Jury Court of Patras, to be removed from her position. They said the judge’s attitude seemed biased towards the accused throughout the proceedings. Eventually, the judicial council rejected the request and, given that they considered it unfounded, ruled that the migrants should pay the costs incurred.
These costs amounted to almost €360 [$405]