‘A very important moment’

The trial of the 19 suspected members of the November 17 terrorist organization is «a very important moment» for Greece, the government said yesterday. It stressed that the suspects were being given a fair trial and democracy would prevail. The United States – which counts four of its citizens among the 23 people murdered by the gang – said it was watching the case closely. «It is a very important moment for our country and our society. After 30 years in which the Greek people and our country were plagued by the activity of the November 17 terrorist organization, those accused of involvement in the unacceptable actions of this organization are being led to a fair trial,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas said. «Our effort has been to fight the phenomenon of terrorism in general and to demythologize terrorism in Greece. For this reason, we are making an especially serious effort on the political front, to deal with the situation created by terrorism with the principles of democracy, with the strength of democracy.» The US State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said, «As four victims of the November 17 terrorist group were American citizens and a fifth was a Greek employee of the US Embassy, we will be following the trial very closely.» He added, «The government of Greece deserves credit for its successes against this notorious terrorist group and for bringing the rule of law to bear in this case.»

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