NEWS

Escaped N17 convict vows to return to armed action

Police on Monday redoubled their efforts to locate the fugitive November 17 convict Christodoulos Xeros after the 55-year-old posted a video and a letter on the Internet heralding his return to terrorism and appealing to members of leftist and anarchist guerrilla groups to unite in armed action in protest against ongoing austerity in Greece.

Xeros, who has been on the run since he absconded during a nine-day prison furlough that began on January 1, described himself as “a free member of November 17” in the letter posted on the Indymedia website and called on members of leftist and anarchist guerrilla groups to “unite” against politicians, unionists, journalists and police. “It is our duty to light the fuse,” he said, adding that he had “once again taken the decision to wield the guerrilla rifle against those who stole our lives and sold our dreams for a profit.”

In a video featuring Xeros speaking in front of a backdrop with pictures of Che Guevara, Greek independence heroes and a resistance fighter in World War Two, the fugitive called for immediate action. “What are we waiting for?” he said. “If we don’t react now, immediately, we will cease to exist as a nation, as a civilization.”

According to sources, the video and letter were probably compiled in two parts – on December 31, the day before Xeros left prison on his furlough – and on January 14, the date mentioned at the end of his letter. It was the seventh furlough granted to the 55-year-old, who was serving multiple life terms in Attica’s high-security Korydallos Prison following his conviction in 2003.

Speaking to reporters, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said he refused to comment on “the thoughts of whichever terrorist, especially those of Christodoulos Xeros.” “The only thing I can do is reassure Greek society that authorities are meticulously doing their duty to put in prison those who belong there,” he said.

Later, during a speech at an event organized by the Greek-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said his government would “not be stopped by the threats of terrorists.”

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