DNA points to terrorist’s partner as helicopter hijacker

24 February 2016
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Forensic evidence from a helicopter that was hijacked on Sunday appears to confirm that the woman who threatened the pilot at gunpoint was Pola Roupa, the partner of jailed terrorist Nikos Maziotis, police said on Tuesday.

According to testimony from the pilot, a former police investigator, Roupa fired two shots in the air when he refused to change course on a flight from the northern Peloponnese to the island of Kythnos. As he fought with the 47-year-old in an attempt to disarm her, Roupa allegedly ordered him to fly to a location on Mount Parnassos, north of Attica.

Sources told Kathimerini that it is believed Roupa, who is wanted by police in connection with her suspected role in Maziotis’s urban guerrilla group Revolutionary Struggle, had planned to meet two accomplices who were to help her break Maziotis out of the capital’s Korydallos Prison.

It also emerged on Tuesday that Roupa had hired the same six-seat helicopter two months ago – for what is believed to have been a reconnaissance mission – using the same fake ID card she presented to make the more recent reservation.

Police said Roupa’s DNA was found on the pilot’s bloody shirt, while a shell casing retrieved from the helicopter was traced to a gun used by Maziotis in a 2014 bank robbery in which a police officer was injured.

The pilot managed to land the helicopter at a remote location north of Attica but was unable to prevent Roupa from running off. Police are focusing their search for the fugitive in the Parnassos area.

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