N17 suspect throws in the towel

November 17 is politically and operationally finished and beyond revival, a self-confessed group member told the court trying 19 suspected N17 terrorists yesterday. «Politically and morally, November 17 had already been defeated and its operational remains have now been beaten,» brewery employee and trade unionist Sotiris Kondylis said. «There is no fear of the group ever functioning again.» Resuming his testimony that started on Thursday, Kondylis, 42, further incriminated alleged group mastermind Alexandros Yotopoulos, after initially saying the 59-year-old, Paris-born translator had attended social gatherings in which everyone was connected with N17. «I concluded that he was a member of the group,» Kondylis said. «He was above everyone else. He was the most educated and the best-informed politically.» Kondylis said he himself had been part of a cell led by Dimitris Koufodinas that included fellow defendants Christodoulos and Savvas Xeros. Kondylis said he had not known the others’ real names and had been unaware the latter two were brothers. He was also the first N17 defendant to inculpate the 20th suspect to be arrested – 42-year-old graphics artist Costas Avramidis, who was detained in May but released without bail. Avramidis is to be tried separately. According to Kondylis – who also mentioned another group member known as «Stelios» – Avramidis introduced him to Koufodinas. Kondylis admits participation in the 1991 shootout with police in Sepolia, the 1994 assassination of Turkish diplomat Omer Sipahioglu and the 1996 anti-tank missile attack on the US Embassy in Athens. Also yesterday, veteran trade unionist Yiannis Serifis, 65, began his testimony. The 16th defendant to testify, he denies any link with N17.