Top N17 suspect claims US threat

The alleged mastermind behind the November 17 terrorist group has accused police of threatening him with extradition to the USA just after his arrest last July, to force him to admit participation in the group’s first three attacks. In a rare interview printed in yesterday’s Sunday Eleftherotypia, Alexandros Yotopoulos, 59, also argued that the ongoing N17 trial, which opened in Athens on March 3, has failed to prove his alleged leading role in the group and complicity in all its attacks. «The basic charge has fully collapsed,» he said. Yotopoulos denies all charges. Yotopoulos said he was pressed to confess to three 1975 and 1976 attacks in which four people were killed, including CIA station chief in Athens Richard Welch and Evangelos Mallios, a torturer during the 1967-74 dictatorship. He claimed an interrogator said that if he did not admit involvement in the attacks – for which the statute of limitation has expired – he would be extradited to the USA. Yotopoulos also alleged he had been under surveillance for at least six months before his July 17 arrest.

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