NEWS

Xeros ‘tried to visit N17 victim’

Icon-painter Savvas Xeros, allegedly one of the November 17 terrorist group’s chief killers, tried to visit one of the group’s victims in the hospital one day after a 1985 Athens bomb attack on a bus carrying riot police officers, a witness claimed on Monday. The trial, which was halted yesterday due to the Independence Day holiday, will resume today with witnesses testifying in connection with four of the extreme left-wing group’s attacks in 1987 and 1988. On Monday, the sister of one of the 15 policemen injured during the Nov. 26, 1985 bomb attack on the riot police bus in Kaisariani said Xeros entered the Evangelismos Hospital posing as a medical student and tried to enter the intensive care ward where victims were being nursed. One officer was killed by the blast, for which Xeros has not been charged. «The first night after the attack and while my brother was being treated under guard, Savvas Xeros came [to the hospital],» Maria Lourida said. «I recognized him last summer, when I saw his photograph on television… I remember, he kept asking whether my brother was dead. But they did not allow him through, as was the case with the other two who had come dressed in smocks.» A second witness, riot police officer Constantinos Milionis, told the court Savvas Xeros and a woman he identified as Angeliki Sotiropoulou – the only woman among the 19 N17 suspects on trial in the Korydallos Prison courtroom – had been spying at the site of the attack a week before the bomb blast. «From their appearance, I deduced they were leftists or anarchists,» he said. Defense lawyers protested, noting that Sotiropoulou has not been charged in connection with the Kaisariani blast, prompting presiding judge Michalis Margaritis to comment that the witness «should not have been brought here.»