NEWS

Evidence mounts against letter bomb suspect

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

The 29-year-old was taken under heavy police escort to face an investigating magistrate in Athens on Monday. Raids were conducted on three properties linked to the suspect and turned up a wealth of evidence, including weapons, explosives and digital files, police said.

TAGS: Crime, Terrorism

A 29-year-old man arrested on Saturday in connection with a letter bomb that seriously injured former prime minister Lucas Papademos in Athens in May may have been behind a number of attacks orchestrated by the urban guerrilla groups Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire and Revolutionary Struggle, unconfirmed police sources have said.

Searches of safe houses rented under the suspect’s numerous aliases reportedly turned up a wealth of digital evidence and computer-printed address labels linking the 29-year-old to Papademos (also formerly of the International Monetary Fund) and other potential targets. These are said to include financial institutions in Europe, which points to a connection with Conspiracy since the group claimed responsibility for a letter bomb addressed to former German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in March. That bomb was intercepted before it could go off in the ministry, but another similar parcel addressed to the IMF in Paris in May injured a secretary.

Police may also have important evidence linking the suspect to a bomb that went off outside the Bank of Greece in April 2014, as well as an attempt by one of the two Revolutionary Struggle ringleaders to break her partner out of a maximum-security prison by helicopter in February 2016, among other crimes.

On Tuesday morning, police said they discovered another safe house in the downtown Exarchia district.

In response to the news of the suspect’s arrest, opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis contacted police chief Lieutenant General Costas Tsouvalas on Monday to congratulate him on the operation.

“When the Hellenic Police is allowed to do its job, it works with professionalism and effectiveness. When it is prevented we see phenomena on the street,” he added, in apparent reference to a recent spate of vandalism and firebomb attacks in the Greek capital, including against a police precinct in Pefki, northern Athens.

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