Gas bomb art student evades jail

A Thessaloniki art student who tried to blow up a bag of camping gas canisters outside the US consulate in Thessaloniki during a 1999 anti-war protest was given a suspended jail sentence in an appeals court decision made public on Saturday. The Thessaloniki court increased to 14 months the initial, five-month sentence handed to Kalianthi Angelioglou, 25, in 2001 for possession of explosives, finding her guilty of causing an explosion through negligence. Nobody was hurt in the April 1999 explosion, in which only one of the 15 canisters in the bag went off. The court accepted that Angelioglou’s act had been intended as a protest against the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and took into account that she had repented, and had no prior convictions. Angelioglou told the court that she had been «under psychological pressure» at the time due to the daily news coverage of NATO attacks. «I wanted to express my opposition to [the bombing] and did not intend to hurt anyone,» she said. The sentence was suspended for three years. The initial court decision had caused strong US representations.