Doctors told to save hit man

As convicted November 17 hit man Dimitris Koufodinas entered his 29th day on hunger strike yesterday and his body was in danger of shutting down, an Athens prosecutor was reported as having told doctors that they will be criminally liable if they fail to save the extreme-left-wing terrorist’s life. So far, Koufodinas, 46, who is protesting at the detention conditions faced by the 15 N17 prisoners, has adamantly refused any food or sustenance, under any circumstances. Yesterday’s Eleftherotypia daily said the chief Athens prosecutor told doctors that regardless of whether Koufodinas was refusing an intravenous drip or other treatment, they had a legal responsibility to keep him alive. The government, which claims the N17 convicts have not been singled out for harsher treatment than other prison inmates, has removed metal bars covering the small exercise yard used by N17 militants. But there was no sign of more concessions yesterday. «I am really sorry that a person, whoever he may be, has chosen to behave in this way,» government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday. «The holding conditions are in accordance with international regulations and have been imposed for the safety of the prisoners.» All 15 convicts are held in solitary confinement and are not allowed contact with other inmates at the top-security Korydallos Prison in southwestern Athens. At least another four N17 members are on hunger strike.