Xeros drugs claims refuted

Doctors testifying yesterday at the November 17 terrorism trial dismissed claims by the man whose initial confessions led to the group’s dismantling that he had been given mood-altering drugs to make him talk. Meanwhile, presiding judge Michalis Margaritis remarked on inconsistencies in the testimony of a prosecution witness who identified first four and then two of the 19 N17 suspects as having taken part in a 1995 post office robbery in western Athens. After the attack on the Aegaleo post office branch, manager Stephanos Grivas had identified two men unconnected with the N17 case – Vassilis Danalatos and Eleftherios Panayiotopoulos – as having been involved in the robbery. The two were tried and acquitted. Yesterday, Grivas named brothers Savvas and Christodoulos Xeros as two of the robbers. He also mentioned alleged N17 chief hitman Dimitris Koufodinas and Theologos Psaradellis, but then retracted. «Referring to the same incident you first mentioned two, then a different two, then we have a third,» Margaritis said. «What about Koufodinas, whom you also mentioned?» «I got carried away,» Grivas answered. Responding to defense complaints that the witness was undependable, Margaritis said: «What can I do? These are the witnesses they bring me.» Earlier, two psychiatrists – including one appointed by the defense – and an oculist said there were no indications that Savvas Xeros had been given drugs to produce a confession during his hospitalization in the first days after his arrest, at the end of June, following a bungled Piraeus bomb attack that left him badly injured. However, the defense-appointed psychiatrist said Xeros showed signs of sensory deprivation.