New lead on alleged N17 mastermind

A printer’s block seized in one of the November 17 terrorist organization’s two Athens hideouts was used to print a forged identity card and driver’s license used by alleged group leader Alexandros Yotopoulos, according to new evidence presented yesterday at the N17 trial. Deputy prosecutor Vassilis Markis said police experts found that the equipment discovered in N17’s safe house at 84 Patmou Street in Ano Patissia had struck the forged documents, in the name of Michalis Economou, which the Paris-born Yotopoulos used for much of his life in Greece. This evidence was not available at the time of the initial investigation, and was not used for his indictment. Despite objections by Yotopoulos’s lawyer, the court decided that the evidence should be admitted. Yotopoulos, 59, has been charged with being among the initial group of people that formed N17 in 1975. He was also formally accused of holding a «leading position» in N17 and inciting its attacks. Yotopoulos, who was arrested at his holiday home on the eastern Dodecanese island of Leipsoi on July 17, denies all the charges. Last week, the administrator of the Patmou Street building where N17 rented its small, ground-floor hideout, identified Yotopoulos as the «well-dressed, good-looking gentleman with light-colored eyes and white hair at the temples» she saw entering the building six or seven years ago, accompanied by two younger people. A raid of the apartment netted N17’s flag, a typewriter and computer used to write proclamations as well as an assortment of arms including anti-tank rockets, automatic weapons and handguns. Yesterday, the court was also presented with the results of graphological tests, according to which handwritten notes found on a draft N17 proclamation in the Patmou Street flat matched Yotopoulos’s handwriting. Meanwhile, dismissing claims by defendant Savvas Xeros that the trial was rigged, presiding judge Michalis Margaritis accused the N17 defendants of «killing and hiding like hyenas… Now… they are caught in the mousetrap, in the cage.»

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