November 17 hitman out on leave again

November 17 hitman out on leave again

Dimitris Koufodinas, a leading member of November 17, Greece’s most deadly guerrilla group, emerged from Attica’s maximum-security Korydallos Prison at 9 a.m. on Friday on a two-day leave, just three months after a previous furlough, against a strong reaction by opposition politicians and the US government.

The 60-year-old convict, who was N17’s key hitman, is expected to return to prison on Sunday morning. He is restricted to his home area of Varnavas in northeastern Attica and must report at the local police stations twice a day.

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose brother-in-law Pavlos Bakoyiannis was assassinated by November 17, said that the law allowing such criminals to obtain furlough will be among the first ones to be abolished when his party returns to office.

Koufodinas's lawyer, Ioanna Kourtovik, said on Friday morning that the relatives of the victims have no say on her client's leave and that this furlough is "in the context of normality. I hope that in the future you will also realize this normality," she told reporters.

The US State Department condemned on Thursday the 48-hour leave of Koufodinas, commenting that "we fundamentally believe that convicted terrorists do not deserve a vacation from prison."

Koufodinas is serving 11 life sentences for his role in a string of fatal attacks by the Marxist terrorist group that was dismantled by Greek authorities in 2002.

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