Two N17 suspects ‘not guilty’

Reluctantly, in the case of Yiannis Serifis, the prosecutor at the trial of 19 suspected November 17 terrorists yesterday called for the acquittal of two suspects. Christos Lambrou also recommended clemency for another three defendants – Patroklos Tselentis, Constantinos Telios and Sotiris Kondylis – who admitted most of the charges against them, but urged the three-judge criminal court trying the 19 in a specially built Korydallos Prison courtroom to show no mercy to the rest. «Despite the fact that [some] initially confessed, after [suspected chief hit man Dimitris] Koufodinas surfaced they recanted,» he said. «They still belong to the world of terrorism, and have not abandoned barbarity for civilization… There are no grounds for clemency.» While claiming that Yiannis Serifis «was the group’s recruiter and a founding member,» Lambrou said there was not enough evidence to convict the 65-year-old unionist. «There is nothing to prove that [Serifis] belonged to the group after 1983, and therefore the crime [of group membership] cannot be punished under the 20-year statute of limitations,» he conceded. Lambrou also recommended that Anestis Papanastasiou – a 41-year-old Thessaloniki bank employee whose cousin, Nikos Papanastasiou, is also in the dock – should be cleared. Papanastasiou was charged after a plan of an army camp he had drawn during his national service was found in a N17 safe house. «It is most likely that he did not give them the plan,» Lambrou said. «That was the work of his cousin.» Both Serifis and Papanastasiou have already been released from custody. The prosecutor said Tselentis, Telios and Kondylis merited clemency for having repented, «displaying courage and honesty.»

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