A Greek council of appeals court judges on Monday rejected an appeal by convicted November 17 terrorist Savvas Xiros to be granted early release on the grounds of poor health.
Xiros, now 55, was seriously injured when a homemade bomb detonated in his hands in the port of Piraeus in June 2002, leading to the dismantling of the organization.
While acknowledging Xiros’s health problems, the Piraeus judges deemed that he should remain in Athens’s maximum-security Korydallos Prison and serve 25 years of actual jail time before he can be eligible for release.
Prosecutor Odysseas Tsorbatzoglou had recommended that the request not be granted, noting that Xiros has been handed multiple life terms for his role in the Marxist urban guerrilla organization. The prosecutor’s decision was influenced by the fact that Xiros has not expressed regret for his actions and could provide guidance and inspiration to a new generation of domestic guerrillas.
November 17 operated for almost three decades until Greek authorities netted its leaders in 2002. During that time, it launched 103 attacks on US, British, Turkish and Greek targets and assassinated 23 people.
Greek law allows prisoners with severe disabilities to be released from prison, under certain conditions. In his petition, Xiros had outlined his health problems, with his lawyer stating that he has a 98 percent disability.
The US Embassy in Athens had reacted to Xiros’s request saying that granting him early release would be a disservice to the memory of the American mission members he killed and their families.