November 17 hitman Dimitris Koufodinas, who is serving 11 life sentences for his role in the extreme-left terrorist group, began a two-day furlough from prison on Friday, his second in three months.
He was greeted outside Athens’s maximum-security Korydallos Prison on Friday morning by his partner, his son and a group of applauding supporters and friends.
The 60-year-old’s release has sparked strong reactions at home and abroad, including from the US State Department and British Ambassador to Greece Kate Smith, who tweeted that “it’s extremely disheartening to see an unrepentant convicted terrorist coming out of prison again.”
Smith went on to express her respect for Greek justice but added her serious concern for victims’ families.
On Thursday, the US State Department condemned Koufodinas’s 48-hour furlough, saying, “We fundamentally believe that convicted terrorists do not deserve a vacation from prison.”
Independent Greeks MP Dimitris Kammenos, who has repeatedly opposed the government’s prison policy, told ANT1 TV that, “as a citizen I am ashamed, as a politician I am further ashamed.”
However, Koufodinas’s lawyer Ioanna Kourtovik referred to her client’s furlough as something “normal” and described the assassinations he carried out as a senior hitman of the terror group as “actions.”
November 17 was dismantled by Greek authorities in 2002.