Washington and Ankara have both slammed a decision by Greek authorities to move convicted November 17 hitman Dimitris Koufodinas from high-security Korydallos Prison in Athens to an agricultural jail in the town of Volos, central Greece.
Koufodinas was convicted of multiple murders and other crimes in 2003 and is serving several life sentences. In its 27 years of activity, N17 carried out over 100 attacks and killed 23 people, including US and Turkish diplomats.
“[Koufodinas] murdered 11, including US personnel, and is inspiring the next generation of terrorists. We condemn in the strongest terms furloughs or any easing of his prison stay,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert tweeted.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also “strongly condemned” the decision.
“This has once again strengthened our doubts about the functioning of the judicial system in Greece,” it said in a statement.
“Granting tolerance to a terrorist disrespects the memory of our diplomats who were martyred and their families… We urge the Greek authorities to avoid taking steps that would create further deficiency in the fight against terrorism and invite them to fulfill their obligations in line with international cooperation in countering terrorism,” it said.
Prisoners at the Volos jail are permitted to participate in agricultural labor in the area, such as fruit picking, and such work can contribute to the reduction of convicts’ sentences.