NEWS

Former police officer held as terrorist accomplice

Police were on Wednesday questioning two suspected accomplices of November 17 convict Christodoulos Xeros including a 54-year-old man who formerly served with the Greek Police’s special forces unit (EKAM) and the force’s counterterrorism department.

The 54-year-old was arrested late on Tuesday in a police operation in Kalamata in the Peloponnese, along with a 37-year-old Albanian national and former convict. The two men were apprehended at a property belonging to the 54-year-old former officer near the village of Hotasia. The pair are believed to have taken refuge in the house following Xeros’s arrest earlier this month outside the latter’s hideout in Anavyssos, southeast of Athens.

Both suspects are alleged to have been accomplices in an alleged plot by Xeros to blow a hole into the Korydallos Prison perimeter wall and allow convicted members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire guerrilla group to escape. The 54-year-old is alleged to have had close ties with a convict serving a long term in Korydallos who is believed to have put up the money for the planned breakout. The 37-year-old, meanwhile, had posed as a navy officer – using the name Theoharis Chrysakis – to rent the Anavysoss property on behalf of Xeros.

Sources said the two suspects deny the charges which have been brought against them, namely membership of a terrorist organization and the manufacture and possession of explosives.