PM briefed on terrorism investigation

Further developments are expected soon in the war on domestic terrorism, after Public Order Michalis Chrysochoidis briefed Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday. A source said Chrysochoidis described the progress police have made in their investigations into alleged members of Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA), May 1, and Revolutionary Cells. Nineteen suspected members of the November 17 gang, which killed 23 people from 1975 to 2000, have been arrested since last July. The same source said police have tied up evidence related to the three other gangs and have a clear picture of their membership and organization. Regarding ELA, the authorities say the organization would hold meetings and take decisions on a more political level than the more secretive November 17. The seven members of its «revolutionary council» have been identified. Chrysochoidis was asked about allegations that extortionists had promised to remove prominent industrialists from November 17’s hit list if they were paid. «I have nothing to say. The prosecutor’s office is dealing with this,» he told reporters. «But I want to stress that no aspect of terrorism, no issue related to it in any way, is going to remain in the dark.» Prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos yesterday heard testimony from industrialists Nikos and Kyriakos Mamidakis, whom reports described as having been mentioned in the diary of Dimitris Angelopoulos, an industrialist murdered by November 17 in 1986 and who described being warned by an acquaintance that he was on a hit list, along with tycoon Vardis Vardinoyiannis. Vardinoyiannis and Angelopoulos’s nephew Theodoros, who gave the note to the prime minister last summer, testified earlier in the week. Marianna Latsi, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and other industrialists are expected to testify next week. Anti-terrorism prosecutor Ioannis Diotis has handed over evidence on extortion rackets which are said to include journalists and lawyers. Athens Bar Association President Dimitris Paxinos has called for an inquiry and summoned three lawyers who have been making regular allegations on the issue.

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