NEWS

A wealth of N17 fingerprints

Fingerprints belonging to seven of the 19 suspected November 17 terrorists on trial in a Korydallos Prison courthouse were found on items seized in the group’s Athens safe houses, a police expert told the court yesterday. According to the head of the police criminology department, Ioannis Yiannakouris, a total of 26 prints found on 13 documents discovered in the safe house at 84 Patmou St in Ano Patissia belong to alleged group mastermind Alexandros Yotopoulos, a 59-year-old, Paris-born translator. Five of Yotopoulos’s prints were discovered on a draft proclamation referring to the May 1997 Piraeus killing of businessman Costis Peratikos, which yielded no other fingerprints. Police graphologists told the court on Thursday that handwritten notes on the proclamation were written by Yotopoulos. The alleged group mastermind denied ever having touched the document, while his lawyer claimed that the prints had been matched a day before Yotopoulos’s arrest. Fingerprints belonging to defendants Savvas Xeros, Nikos Papanastasiou, Patroklos Tselentis, Angeliki Sotiropoulou, Vassilis Tzortzatos and Dimitris Koufodinas were also found on papers from the Patmou St hideout, according to Yiannakouris, who added that stolen Greek army anti-tank rockets found in the ground-floor flat had yielded prints that matched none of the suspects. When asked by the prosecutor to comment on the finding of his and Yotopoulos’s prints on a document, Tselentis, a 43-year-old shipping company employee who has admitted to group membership from 1983-88, said. «If our fingerprints were found, that means that both I and Mr Yotopoulos have handled [the document].» The trial resumes on Monday.