November 17 killer must remain behind bars until 2027, judges say

November 17 killer must remain behind bars until 2027, judges say

Dimitris Koufodinas, the main hitman of the now-defunct November 17 terrorist group, must remain in prison until September 2027, when he can then apply for parole, judges in Lamia ruled on Friday.

In 2003, Koufodinas, 63, was sentenced to 11 life sentences and 25 years in prison for 11 murders, attempted murder, membership of a criminal organization, as well as the possession and use of weapons and explosives.

Koufodinas had applied to the Council for Criminal Procedure in Lamia to be released on parole as he has completed 19 years of his actual sentence. His application was based on the provisions of a more lenient penal code introduced by the Syriza government. That penal code provision allowed for all lifers to be released after 16 or a maximum of 19 years’ imprisonment. He argued that even though the penal law has been changed, the most beneficial law for the convict is always applied in such cases. 

However, the Council for Criminal Procedure agreed with the prosecutor’s argument that the old penal code referred to cases of convicts sentenced to one life sentence and not to convicts with multiple life sentences, such as Koufodinas, and thus rejected his request.

In their ruling, the judges said that the lack of an explicit reference in the old penal code to convicts with multiple life sentence was a legal loophole that was subsequently filled by the new penal code of 2019, which states that convicts with multiple life sentences can request conditional release after 25 years’ imprisonment.

Earlier this year, Koufodinas went on a 66-day hunger strike, demanding to be transferred to a prison of his choice.

From 2015 to 2019, the convicted killer was granted several furloughs. [AMNA]

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