The court examined a former student of the School, who first complained to the head of the Dorm about the torture of Vangelis. He described everything he saw, but also what he was conveyed to him by another student, for what the unfortunate young man was living by his co-workers. As the group of the “hard Cretans” told him, he threw coins to hom in order to sing, shut the warm water in the bathroom and shaved him it with a sharp blade.
“I told the Dorm responsible that they would seriously injure him or kill him. I was afraid when they tried to shave him. If he would react, if he had made a sharp move, it might have been fatal. I believe the reason why he did not denounce what was happening at his expense was that he did not want to separate from that group because they all came from Crete, “the witness said.
Another witness, who is a relative of one of the accused, also said the same. The individual described Vangelis as a smart and polite young man but he had difficulty answering questions clearly from lawyers.
This attitude caused the reaction of Vangelis father, who said:
“I understand the child who can not come forward, he will return to Crete and it is not easy. Today it is a social court and I do not care whether the defendants will be convicted. I’m interested in knowing the truth … Why did not my child react … “, he said.
The hearing will continue on Thursday, April 11, with testimonies and other witnesses. At the request of the Vangelis family, accepted by the court, the uncle of the unfortunate young Giorgos Bidianakis and the private investigators George Tsoukalis and Fontas Vrosgos will be asked to examine.
The parents of the unlucky student through their lawyer, Dimitris Boukas, appealed to those who know the truth to speak.
“Vaggelis Giakoumakis’s fellow students must know that they have a duty in his soul, in the Justice and in the Greek state,” Mr. Boukas said.
First of all, Vangelis’ mother, Maria Giakoumaki, originally told everything that happened in February 2016 from the moment her son was lost until the day he informed her that his body was found. Mrs. Yakoumaki stressed that her son had serious problems with the behavior of his fellow students from the first year at the Dairy School of Ioannina. He even reached the point of asking to change room. Then bullying grew stronger, as she said in court, “they threatened him that they won’t be be friends any more, nor would they eat again with him at the same table if he changed the room.” Vangelis’ mother also testified that the Manager of the Dairy School had not informed them of the problems the unfortunate young person was facing, as they said to her “he was an adult and could face the situation.”
The head of the Home, according to Mrs. Yakoumaki, was the one who had contacted them to tell them that Vangelis did not go well and had problems. “The child suffered from the behavior of his fellow students,” she said.
“When the torture, which Vangelis submitted to, came to light, his nine fellow students suddenly disappeared,” she concluded.
He also claimed that they were knocking the boards out of the bed, staining the shampoo when he was bathing to get dirty and much more to show the barbarous bullying that Vangelis suffered.
All this time she, as well as the other relatives of the unfortunate young man, were crying in the courtroom.
Immediately afterwards, Andreas Giakoumakis, Vangelis’ father, filed. “He came with dreams at Ioannina. And now, four years later, I come trying to find out why”, he said at the beginning of his testimony to add that his son while he knew to show love was in a place full of unethical. He claimed that Vangelis was ashamed to reveal what he was going through to the Dairy School because he was Cretan and wanted to honor his descent. “They were torturing him over and over and I can not accept it. I do not try to find guilty people, I do not want to try, I want to know”, he said, completing his testimony.
The hearing will continue with the testimony of other witnesses.
The research of journalist-researcher Angeliki Nikolouli in Giannena revealed the drama that Vangelis lived because of a group of his Cretan compatriots who practiced a constant and daily intimidation against him.
Many people were then identified with the unhappy young man and “Tunnel” was overwhelmed by complaints by people who had similar experiences in their lives.
This case suddenly made people talk openly about Bullying and for the first time victims were addressed to the Authorities but also to agencies asking for help.
The sophomore student at the Dairy School of Ioannina, the sensitive Vangelis from Crete, disappeared on Friday 6 February 2015 from his School.
His mother discovered he was missing when she tried to call him he did not answer. Anxious, because she’d been watching him because of his low performance at the School, she called his fellow students and asked them to search him.
That same evening, investigations began to locate Giakoumakis. Initially, they focused on the wider area of the School and the city in general, but later expanded across the country.
Cameras in the air, rescuers in mountains and lake
Since the news of the disappearance of the unfortunate young man became known, the mobilization of authorities and volunteers in the region was immediate.
Apart from the Police and the rescue team of EMAK, the Fire Brigade even recruited the Modeling Association of Ioannina.
Angeliki Nikolouli insisted from the beginning that the School hid the secret of the extinction and that Vangelis was somewhere around.
The journalist’s conviction strengthened her research at the School, where she spoke with all the children who had seen him last, among them the group of the “wild” Cretans, and around the School where he found evidence that the authorities had not found.
Material from security cameras, threw the first light into the dark. A camera of a gas station that had framed Vangelis’ last movements at the noon of his disappearance, proved that his secret was hiding in the surrounding area.
He was recorded walking on the street outside the school and looked like he turned on the dirt road leading to the lakeside because suddenly he was lost from the last camera at that point.
A witness had told Tunnel that she saw a young man that looked like him the afternoon that he was lost. At the point she indicated, he was later found dead. The description of his clothes matched those that Vangelis wore on that fateful day.
The area in which the witness was reported was investigated by the Police and volunteers, but they were unable to locate him.
With a new field survey in Ioannina and a representation outside the School, Angeliki Nikolouli proved that the main witness-bus driver had not taken Vaggelis from the School’s bus station that afternoon but his roommate. After that the researches focused again on the wider area of the Dairy School.
Forty days later, on March 15, a couple accidentally found the body of the unlucky young man when their car was stuck in the mud. The stagnant waters at that point had begun to subside, and in the early days of the investigations the area was flooded, which did not help locating the corpse.
He was recognized by his clothes as his body was in advanced decay and was attacked by wild animals. On his right wrist there was the trauma that deprived him of his life and near him was found the Cretan knife he allegedly used himself, according to the Coroner’s conclusion.
The allegations of the extreme attacks Vangelis received in his School had seen the light of publicity from Tunnel since the early days of his disappearance.
Workers at the Dairy School and students alight their fear and revealed in the show creepy attacks against the young Cretan.
After finding his body, meetings against violence and bullying were organized in various Greek cities in his memory, while further testimonies against Yakoumakis were revealed through the Tunnel.
Judicial developments till today
In April 2015, the former Director of the School and the Home Officer were prosecuted for continued violation of their duties and for their erroneous handling in Giakoumaki’s case. The school leaders seemed helpless to strike the evil at its root and punish the students involved in incidents of violence. As they said, they lacked the data! Tunnel revealed that the manager himself had asked for help from advisers on the problem with the “tough Cretans” he faced in his School. Then the heads of the Ministry of Agriculture closed their eyes and ears, but when the bullying was revealed in the show, they mobilized.
The former director of Dairy School was at first instance sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with a three-year suspension. The trial at the five-member Court of Appeal of Ioannina, which followed on Monday, January 15, 2018, was found guilty of misconduct of the breach of duty on a continuous basis. His sentence was reduced to six months imprisonment with a three-year suspension. Innocent was the prime minister of the House.
On June 10, 2015, the prosecutor charged with the murder of the student, following his family’s objections and their legal representative Dimitris Boukas.
To date, prosecutions have not been personalized and the case is still underway.
The tough group of the eight students charged with dangerous attacks, as revealed by the survey, also had a woman’s scent.
Aggeliki Nikolouli, through her research, had perceived the strange role of a stranger female.
On June 23, 2016, it was decided to refer a former minister to the trial for an offense of misconduct. The minister allegedly intervened in the director of the school to keep one of the Cretans in Hestia, which had caused damage to the building. At that time the case of Vangelis Giakoumakis was not yet known, but also the action of the particular students.
The Three-Member Appeal Court of Ioannina has dismissed the former Minister and the Head of the Department, and condemned the Director of the Dairy School for a breach of duty.
The Contribution of “Tunnel”
After the revelations of “Tunnel” for the simple rebuke of the school leaders to the responsible students and the wrath of the world, there was the punishment for the “hard-tempered” group.
Three of the six students of the Dairy School of Ioannina accused of the attacks on the Cretan student graduated without a degree, according to a decision of the Ministry of Rural Development.
For the remaining three, the Teachers’ Council decided to dismiss them from the School’s Home, classifying their behavior as “wretched.” They could attend their classes without having a right to stay in the Dormitory.
A total of eight students are accused of dangerous bodily injuries and unlawful joint violence. The case is still in the main investigation.
The lawyer of the Giakoumakis family, Mr. Boukas, referred to the contribution of Tunnel and the testimonies that came to light from the broadcast about the violent incidents against Vangelis.
“Publicity has benefited very much and Mrs. Nikoloulis’s broadcast as well. People came forward and felt the need to help, “he said.
The unjust death of Vangelis Giakoumakis was the most resounding message against the problem of school bullying in our country. It sensitized the citizens and created turbulence for those who were called to fill the huge vacancies in the field of education and the legislation on the punishment of bullying.
After the case of Giakoumakis the law changed in order to fill the gap that has been revealed, Bullying is now being punished.
The person who causes bullying will now be faced with Justice. If the offender is an adult and the minor victim is punished by imprisonment of 6 months to 5 years. If an adult is bullied by another adult, the penalty is from 10 days to 5 years.
In cases of bullying from a minor to another minor, they are impenetrable, but reformative measures are imposed unless an offender and victim have an age difference of more than three years, in which case there will be another treatment.