Alexandros Giotopoulos, the 78-year-old jailed leader of the now-defunct Greek terrorist group November 17, returned to prison on Thursday following a three-day furlough, his first in the 20 years he has been detained in Athens’ Korydallos penitentiary, Greek media reported on Friday.
The news drew criticism from Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, whose father, Pavlos Bakoyannis, was gunned down by the terrorist organization in September 1989.
“Was the leader of November 17 given a three-day leave? In secret? I mean, at least quietly? And on the anniversary of Thanos Axarlian’s murder? Is it true? Open and clear explanations are required,” he tweeted.
Δόθηκε άδεια τριήμερη στον αρχηγό της 17 Νοέμβρη; Εν κρυπτώ; Δηλαδή, τουλάχιστον αμήχανα; Και μάλιστα στην επέτειο της δολοφονίας του Θάνου Αξαρλιάν; Ισχύει; Απαιτούνται εξηγήσεις δημόσια και ξεκάθαρα.
— Kostas Bakoyannis (@KBakoyannis) July 15, 2022
Thanos Axarlian was a 20-year-old student killed during a botched assassination attempt by November 17 on July 14, 1992. Axarlian was killed during a rocket attack against then economy minister Yiannis Paleokrassas.
Giotopoulos is serving 17 life sentences and 25 years for several several murders, including a drive-by shooting of British military attache, Stephen Saunders in 2000. He was convicted in 2003 after a nine-month trial involving 19 accused members of the group.
N17 claimed responsibility for murdering 23 Greeks as well as British, US and Turkish diplomats in a killing spree that began with the shooting of Athens CIA station chief, Richard Welch, in 1975. [ekathimerini]
PS Note that when SYRIZA was granting furlough to another 17N convict Dimitris Koufontinas, New Democracy then in opposition was up in arms. When ND came to power it halted the furloughs for the convict with a special decision.
Now ruling ND did it “secretly” – as the mayor criticized… – but not so secretly after all and its not illegal but it’s every convict’s right, independent from politics.