Three men arrested on charges of beating Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris during a public event on Saturday testified before a misdemeanours court in the northern Greek city.
The three include two university students in their 20s and a 36-year old man. They all apologized and said they were carried away by the crowd.
One of the students said that he is a Greek of Pontian descent who was attending the event commemorating the Pontian genocide and got carried away by the crowd that was berating the mayor. He also apologized to his father, who is a priest.
The second student said he was also carried away by the crowd.
The 36-year-old from Georgia said he had no idea who Boutaris was when he assaulted him, and apologized by saying he was under the influence of alcohol and durgs.
Municipal council chair Calypso Goulia said the mayor and his entourage were suddenly surrounded and assaulted.
The judge has not announced when the case will continue. Lawyers for both sides have yet to testify.