ELA deadline prompts offer

A suspected Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) terrorist yesterday told the Athens court trying five alleged members of the extreme left-wing group he would not seek release even if the trial outruns the 18-month maximum detention period for crime suspects. Costas Agapiou, 57, an alleged top ELA decision-maker, said he had been driven to renounce his right in indignation at reported government pressure for the trial to be accelerated so that a decision can be issued before the Olympic Games start on August 13. The detention limit for the three defendants in custody expires in the first week of August. Agapiou called for Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras – who is understood to fear a public relations disaster for Greece if all five defendants are free during the Games – to be informed of his decision. Yesterday, the court examined witnesses to 23 ELA attacks, prompting defense lawyers to complain that the process was being expedited «at an Olympic pace.»