November 17 terrorist escapes custody while on furlough [Update]

Convicted November 17 terrorist Christodoulos Xeros was at large on Tuesday after failing to check in with his local police station in Halkidiki, northern Greece, while on furlough.

Police launched a manhunt for the 55-year-old musical instrument maker who is serving six consecutive life sentences plus an additional 25 years in prison for his role in six assassinations as well as other terrorist activities.

Xeros was granted nine-day furlough on January 1 and was ordered to report to his local police precinct in Nea Kallikrateia in Halkidiki every day, which authorities said he did until Sunday. He failed to turn up on Monday, prompting authorities to launch the search.

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."