NEWS

N17 defendants start to feud

The first major crack in the front of the 19 suspected November 17 terrorists appeared on the 16th day of the trial at Korydallos Prison yesterday, with one of the group’s alleged hit men confessing to participation in two attacks, and inculpating another three of the defendants. Patroklos Tselentis, 43, an Athens shipping company employee, confirmed what he had admitted immediately after his July 26 arrest, telling presiding judge Michalis Margaritis he had participated in the April 8, 1986 Kolonaki killing of industrialist Dimitris Angelopoulos and the April 24, 1987 bomb attack on a bus carrying US military personnel in Rendi, southern Athens. Tselentis said he drove the motorbike from which Christodoulos Xeros, riding pillion, shot Angelopoulos. He also admitted to involvement – again as a driver – with Christodoulos Xeros, his younger brother, Savvas, and alleged chief N17 killer Dimitris Koufodinas in the Rendi bombing that injured 13 people. Christodoulos Xeros, a 45-year-old maker of musical instruments, accused Tselentis of lying to ensure a more lenient sentence. His brother and Koufodinas did not react. «Mr Tselentis – who, by the way, does not know me and I do not know him – has a very strong incentive to say what he has just said,» Xeros said. «He wants to benefit from the law» which encourages terrorism suspects to help the authorities. It was Xeros’s initial testimony – which he retracted afterward – that led police to Tselentis. The only witness of the Rendi attack to testify failed to identify any of the defendants. The court also examined witnesses of the 1988 killing of industrialist Alexandros Athanassiadis-Bodosakis and the attempted 1988 killing of US DEA agent George Karos. Only five of the 34 witnesses on the register turned up.