Convicted terrorist and member of “17th November” organization Christodoulos Xeros was at large on Tuesday after failing to check in with the local police station in Halkidiki, northern Greece. Xeros was granted a nine-day furlough on January 1st and he was ordered to report to local police station in Nea Kallikrateia in Halkidiki on a daily basis. According to Greke media, last time Xeros checked in the police station was on Sunday.
The 54-year-old musical instrument maker has been serving six consecutive life sentences plus an additional 25 years in prison for his role in six assassinations as well as other terrorist activities.
He had declared the home of his sister as ‘residence’ during his furlough. His sister car was found abandoned near Florina some 300 km away, ANT1 TV reported.
It was the seventh furlough he was granted, since he was sent in prison in 2002.
His father told reporters that Christodoulos Xeros had not shown any signs of escaping and that he had left back his mobile phone and his clothes.
Xeros has still time to return until Thursday but an arrest warrant has been issued as he violated the furlough conditions. Police has launched a manhunt.
Speaking on Skai television on Tuesday morning, Xeros’s lawyer said that he had had no contact with his client and had no idea of his whereabouts.
“Mr Xeros does not like being interpreted by anyone but I’ve known him for years and think he made a political decision,” Frangiskos Ragousis said.
“He has always been consistent with his beliefs,” the lawyer added.
Responding to Ragousis’s statements later in the day, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou called them “chilling” and assured that an investigation will be conducted into the convict’s escape.
This proves that convicted terrorists should not be treated as regular prisoners,” Kedikoglou said. “If they consider it their duty to escape and attack society, then society needs to take measures.”
Last October the Greek parliament approved that prisoners may serve their sentence at home wearing a wrist or ankle cuff. The measure is supposed to be used also on prisoners on furlough. But apparently the security measure has not been applied yet.
It is the second member of Xeros family that keeps busy the media today. His brother Savvas, also a convicted 17. November member is to be transferred from prison to a public hospital in Larissa to undergo medical checks. According to media, Savvas Xeros, 51, is allegedly suffering from multiple sclerosis. He was convicted for five consecutive life sentence and additional 25 years in prison for his role in 5 assassinations and other terrorist activities.