Jailed 25-year-old Nikos Romanos, convicted for attempted robbery and planting a bomb outside the house of a former minister, among others, was released on Wednesday on good behaviour after serving six years in jail.
Romanos was convicted in 2013 to 11 years behind bars for an attempted armed robbery targeting branches of the Agricultural Bank (ATE) and Hellenic Postbank in Velvendo, Kozani.
In 2018, he was also found guilty of the illegal possession and setting of explosive devices, including one planted outside the home of former minister Yiannos Papantoniou in 2012, and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Nikos Romanos was a friend of slain teen Alexis Grigoropoulos and was with him on the night that he was shot dead by police in Exarcheia, central Athens in December 2008. Grigoropoulos’ death sparked riots, looting and widespread clashes between youths and police, which lasted nearly a month, causing extensive damage to private and public property, and became known as the ‘Athens Riots’.
According to state news agency amna, the court that originally sentenced Romanos had not admitted any mitigating circumstances, including his good behaviour while in prison but this decision was later reversed by the Supreme Court. Taking the Supreme Court’s decision into account, a Five-member Criminal Appeals Court that reconsidered his case recently reduced his sentence by four years, to 14 years in prison.
This made possible the release of Romanos, whose six years in prison counted “double” due to days of work done while incarcerated, during which time he had also finished high school and sat university entrance exams, getting a place in the Athens TEI School of Management and Economy.
He is to receive his diploma soon.
In 2014 Romanos started a hunger strike in prison claiming his right to education.