N17 terror suspect to stay in jail

A plea for release on bail by the last of the 19 November 17 terrorism defendants to be arrested was rejected yesterday by a panel of senior judges, which ordered his detention for another six months. In a decision fiercely contested by Anestis Papanastasiou’s lawyers, the Council of Appeals Court Judges ruled that the 41-year-old Thessaloniki bank employee must remain in prison even though his initial detention order expired over a month ago without being renewed. The council opined that there was no need for the order to be formally renewed, as the N17 trial has already started – it kicked off on March 3, two months after Papanastasiou’s arrest. The defendant’s lawyers described the decision as «a judiciary putsch,» claiming their client should have been released a month after the temporary detention order expired. Only one of the 19 suspects, 65-year-old unionist Yiannis Serifis, has been released on bail after his arrest. A 20th suspect, graphic artist Costas Avramidis, 42, was charged in May but freed without bail. He will be tried separately.