Court hands down stiff sentences over 2007 ambush of police in lawless Zoniana

A five-judge Piraeus court on Monday handed down sentences of between 25 and six years to 16 men found guilty of involvement in an ambush against police officers in Zoniana, a rural area in Rethymno, Crete, during a drug raid in November 2007, in which one officer was seriously wounded.

The court gave two men, one of whom is an Albanian national and remains at large, the maximum sentence of 25 years for the attempted murder – among other charges – of 33-year-old special officer Stathis Lazaridis, who remains in a coma five-and-a-half years after gunmen in the lawless village opened fire on 49 police officers conducting a raid in search of illegal narcotics, for which the area is notorious.

Another two officers were injured in the gun battle.

The court also handed sentences of 10 years to another three men and five-and-a-half years to another 10. The 16th defendant saw his sentence reduced to four years.

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