NEWS

Anger over transfer of N17 hitman to Volos jail

EVA KARAMANOLI

TAGS: Crime, Terrorism

The sudden transfer on Friday of convicted November 17 hitman Dimitris Koufodinas from Attica’s high-security Korydallos Prison to an agricultural jail in Volos, central Greece, fueled angry reactions from the political opposition and relatives of the disbanded terrorist group’s victims.

The move, carried out earlier on Friday, followed a decision by a transfers committee overseen by the Justice Ministry.

The Volos jail is an “open” penitentiary – in the sense that all convicts are permitted to participate in agricultural labor in the area, such as fruit picking – where work can contribute to the reduction of convicts’ sentences.

However, legal experts told Kathimerini it is unlikely that Koufodinas, who is serving several life sentences for November 17 killings, will be able to benefit from this.

In three years though, when he will have completed 19 years behind bars, he will have the right to apply for conditional release.

Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis said Koufodinas’s sentence would not be reduced and that the move was part of a broader plan to turn Korydallos into a prison for defendants awaiting trial which involves moving convicts to other facilities.

“The transfer to another jail does not entail special treatment, a reduction of the sentence or partially unrestricted residence,” Kontonis said.

“The sentence will continue to be served as normal,” he said, adding that there are a large number of convicts with life sentences at the Volos facility.

Earlier New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis hit out at the government over the decision, noting that it chose to “serve serial killers” at a time when it should be showing solidarity with the victims of last week’s fatal wildfires.

The decision to move Koufodinas also provoked angry reactions from relatives of the terrorist group’s victims.

Former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, whose husband Pavlos Bakoyannis was gunned down by November 17 in 1989, struck a similar tone, condemning the government for transferring “the N17 serial killer to a luxury jail” while failing to protect citizens from disaster, referring to last week’s wildfires.

ND’s former citizens’ protection minister and prominent conservative lawmaker Nikos Dendias also condemned the government “for once again showing disrespect for the memory of the victims of terrorism.”

Online