High court prosecutor intervenes in N17 terrorist’s furlough request; overturns previous rejection

19 May 2019

The head of the supreme court prosecutor’s office on Friday evening overturned a ruling, issued the previous week by a regional judicial council, that had rejected a prison furlough request by Greece’s most notorious urban terrorist.

Under Greek law, revised in 2015, Dimitris Koufodinas is eligible for prison furlough after serving more than 15 years, and despite that he was handed down 11 life sentences for an equal number of homicide as a member of the once-elusive “November 17” terrorist gang.

The late-night decision by high court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou means that the case will now be conveyed to supreme court council, which will either decide to uphold the previous decision by a three-member judicial council in the central city of Volos, or order its reconvening with new members.

The application was the seventh in a row by the convicted extreme left terrorist, and the second in a row that was rejected.

The reasoning behind the latest rejection is that Koufodinas does not fulfill the conditions of the current legal framework – amended in 2015 – for a temporary release. Specifically, he is described as unrepentant for his nearly two decades as a terrorist assassin. Additionally, the terror group’s numerous crimes – including killings, bombings and armed robberies – are not eligible for beneficial provisions governing such furloughs.

Koufodinas remains hospitalized in a Volos-area hospital’s ICU due to a hunger strike, which he started more than a week ago.

Numerous acts of vandalism have been recorded, mostly in central Athens, by antifa-like groups and self-styled anarchists to demand that the judiciary issue the convicted terrorist another four-day leave.

The case again drew a reaction by main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is, among others, relying on a “law and order” platform against the hard left SYRIZA government.

Speaking from Crete, where he is on a campaign tour ahead of the May 26 European Parliament election, Mitsotakis said “the rule of law and democracy cannot be threatened or blackmailed, especially by an unrepetant serial killer and the 30 thugs that support him. I am absolutely confident that the institutions and justice system will meet this challenge,” he said.

The center-right political leader also has a personal interest in the N17, as the terrorist group assassinated his brother-in-law, journalist and politician Pavlos Bakoyannis, in 1989.

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