NEWS

Kassimis free without bail, denies ELA link

The first Greek terrorism suspect to be accused of participation in two left-wing extremist groups was released without bail yesterday after testifying in connection with his alleged membership in the Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) organization. Michalis Kassimis, a 58-year-old civil servant whose brother, Christos – a suspected ELA member – died in an Athens gunfight with police in 1977, denied any ELA links. «(The charges) are a case of political expediency,» he said. Kassimis has been charged with participation in 53 ELA attacks in the 1980s and early 1990s. He was arrested on April 2 and charged with being a member of May 1, a group that allegedly merged with ELA in 1990, before being freed on bail. Kassimis has denied the May 1 charges, which included participation in the 1987 attempted killing of a top unionist. Another four ELA suspects are in custody.