NEWS

Parliament appealed to ELAS twice before anarchist attack, documents show

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Crime

Two classified documents sent by Parliament’s security service to the leadership of the Greek Police (ELAS) last week, and seen by Kathimerini, appealed for improved policing outside the House, which was targeted by anarchist vandals who threw bottles of red paint at its facade on Tuesday.

The first letter was sent to ELAS chief Aristides Andrikopoulos and copied to Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis on May 13, in the wake of firebomb attacks by anarchists on the headquarters of leftist SYRIZA in central Athens and a police precinct in Kaisariani. It underlined the risk of a possible attack on the House by self-styled anarchists following the spike in acts of violence by members of anti-establishment groups and appealed for additional police support.

Specifically, it asked for the police contingent stationed outside Parliament to be bolstered around the clock to avert a possible attack by activists.

Two days later, in the wake of an act of vandalism by members of the anarchist group Rouvikonas against the residence of US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, Parliament’s security service sent a second letter to the leadership of ELAS and to Voutsis, briefing them on additional measures it had taken around Parliament in anticipation of an attack.

An additional three or four officers were added to the detail outside Parliament but they proved inadequate to avert Tuesday’s attack. Since then, ELAS has boosted its presence outside the House with a full riot police unit on standby.

Meanwhile a prosecutor brought criminal charges of defacing a historical monument against a 36-year-old man, believed to be a founding member of Rouvikonas, over Tuesday’s attack.

Rouvikonas’ attack was one of a series of violent acts by anarchists expressing solidarity with convicted hitman Dimitris Koufodinas, a member of the now-defunct terrorist group November 17 who is in the third week of a hunger strike over a judicial council’s refusal to grant him a furlough. Last Friday, after Koufodinas was put in intensive care, Supreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou appealed the refusal. The court is to decide on Thursday or Friday whether to uphold her appeal, which would likely pave the way for his furlough to be granted. It would be his seventh in less than two years.

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