N17 terrorist loses appeal for release

A bid by one of the 15 convicted November 17 terrorists to secure his release, arguing, among others, that his confinement was harming his ceramics business, was rejected by an Athens appeals court yesterday, court sources said. Nikos Papanastassiou, a 52-year-old ceramics artist, received an eight-year sentence last December for participation in the extreme left-wing group, which killed 23 people in a string of attacks between 1975 and 2000. The court ruled he was a member of N17’s «executive secretariat.» During his appeal hearing yesterday, Papanastassiou said he was not a danger to the public or a flight risk and asked to have his term commuted to a suspended sentence. He also claimed his health and ceramics business are suffering while he is incarcerated. Fourteen other men, currently in jail, were also convicted for their participation in November 17 crimes.

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