NEWS

Search for murder clues

Police were yesterday still searching for clues to the murder of Greek police officer Haralambos Amanatidis, killed before dawn on Friday as he was guarding the residence of British Defense Attache Colonel Mark Blatherwick in the northern suburb of Kifissia. Yesterday police focused their attention on a white Nissan Micra vehicle that may have been used by the assailants. The car, stolen on December 29 from the suburb of Nea Ionia, was found abandoned on Kifissias Avenue, in a small park in Maroussi, on Saturday night. So far, no clue has been discovered to link the car to the crime and police say it may well have been used in a robbery. The number of people who took part in Amanatidis’s murder is unknown. It has been established, however, that he was fired at with two guns, a 9mm pistol, most likely a Beretta 9mm, and a revolver, either a. 357 Magnum or a. 38 Special. The police have found 10 9mm bullets and five revolver bullets at the scene of the crime, five of them in Amanatidis’s body. The assailants also took his weapon, a submachine gun. Many explanations have been advanced for Amanatidis’s murder, the most disturbing of which is that he may have been murdered by a terrorist group. The last terrorist victim was the then British defense attache Brigadier-General Stephen Saunders, murdered by the November 17 terrorist organization on June 8, 2000. Since then, it is believed that most November 17 members have been arrested and jailed. As of last night, no one had claimed responsibility for Amanatidis’s murder. Also, the manner of his death was different than the methods employed by November 17, as were the weapons used. «From the initial assessments, it appears that the chances of this being a terrorist act are very slim,» said Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis.