NEWS

Junior suspect denies N17 role

The youngest of the 19 suspects in the dock for alleged November 17 membership yesterday denied all charges, saying he had unwittingly rented one of the terrorist group’s Athens safe houses as a favor to a friend who had put him up. After hearing testimony from Dionyssis Georgiadis, 27, the court specially convened in Athens’s Korydallos Prison to try the N17 suspects suspended sessions for an 11-day summer break. The trial opened on March 3. Georgiadis, the seventh suspect to testify in court so far, admitted to an acquaintance with the three Xeros brothers – all fellow-defendants – but denied any knowledge of their alleged terrorist activities and condemned the violent practices of N17, which he lumped together with Greece’s two largest political parties. «Had I wanted to change the world, I would have joined UNESCO or UNICEF, not PASOK, nor New Democracy, nor November 17,» he said. Thessaloniki-born Georgiadis claimed he had rented the group’s Pangrati hideout as a payback to Savvas Xeros, in whose Athens house he had been staying. And he denied the charge of participation in two N17 Athens bank robberies in 1998. When Georgiadis had finished testifying, presiding judge Michalis Margaritis asked alleged N17 chief hit man Dimitris Koufodinas – who admitted group membership and has claimed some of the defendants are innocent – whether the 27-year-old was involved with the group. «Particularly in his case, you can easily draw a conclusion,» Koufodinas responded with a grin. The next defendant to testify, on August 20, will be Theologos Psaradellis, who has only admitted to participation in a 1983 bank heist – from which he was denied his cut. Alleged N17 mastermind Alexandros Yotopoulos is 18th on the list.