NEWS

Two key members of radical anarchist group released from prison

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Crime, Justice

Two high-ranking members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire urban guerrilla group have been released from prison after serving one-third of 20-year sentences by invoking a law introduced under the previous SYRIZA administration.

Gerasimos Tsakalos had been arrested in November 2010 at the age of 24 for delivering a parcel bomb to a courier service in the Athens neighborhood of Pangrati, among other crimes linked to the radical anarchist group, of which he was a leading member.

His older brother, Christos, was arrested five months later in the central Greek town of Volos during a joint operation between the Greek Police's counter-terrorism unit and the country's intelligence service.

Another four suspects were arrested in the same operation, with all admitting to being “proud members” of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire in subsequent web posts.

The group first emerged in 2008 and was responsible for dozens of bomb attacks against banks, judicial officials, insurance companies, politicians and other perceived target. In 2010 it sent dozens of parcel bombs to foreign embassies and officials, including former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while in 2017 two of its parcel bombs exploded, one in the lap of Greece's former caretaker prime minister Lucas Papademos, injuring him seriously, and another in the hands of an employee at the International Monetary Fund.

The Tsakalos brothers had been convicted to 70 years in prison each, sentences that were commuted to 20 years.

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