NEWS

Koufodinas appeal rejected as he enters 58th day of hunger strike

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A misdemeanor court on Thursday rejected a request by the lawyers of hunger-striking convicted terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas for a commuted sentence on health grounds. His lawyers had appealed for the suspension due to the critical condition of his health due to his hunger strike which entered its 58th day on Thursday. 

The judges of the court in the central Greek town of Lamia upheld the recommendation of a local prosecutor, and unanimously rejected the request, deeming that his case does not fall under the provisions of the law which provides for the suspension of sentences in the case of serious health problems. It also deemed that he placed himself in this situation by his own decisions.

“The treatment of a serious illness,” the court said in a statement, “can be done through the medical assistance offered to him.”

“It is the applicant who is setting the termination of his sentence as a condition in order to receive medical assistance. The court rules that his stay in the hospital is not unfavorable treatment,” the statement read.

The doctor treating Koufodinas at Lamia hospital told the court his condition is critical but noted that he is not intubated and that he is fully aware of his decisions. 

Koufodinas, serving 11 life terms plus 25 years for his leading role as an assassin for the November 17 terror group, is demanding to be transferred from the maximum-security Domokos Prison, near Lamia, to the capital’s Korydallos penitentiary. His demand has been rejected on the grounds that Korydallos is reserved for inmates in pre-trial custody.

Meanwhile, former US ambassador to Greece Nicholas Burns (1997-2001) said the Greek government is “right to refuse to coddle the convicted terrorist.”

“He and the terrorist group 17 November murdered five members of the US Embassy staff between 1975-1991 and many Greeks. We will never forget,” he tweeted.