NEWS

ELA prosecutor says five guilty

The prosecutor at the trial of four Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) terrorists and two more suspects in connection with the group’s 10-year bombing campaign recommended yesterday that one be set free and the other five be convicted for participation in eight attacks. In his summary following the four-month trial, Miltiadis Andriotelis told the three-member Athens appeals court that Christos Tsigaridas, 65, Costas Agapiou, 57, Angeletos Kanas, 53, Michalis Kassimis, 59, and Irini Athanassaki, 49, should be found convicted for involvement in eight out of the 10 bombings for which they have stood trial since February. Apart from Kassimis, the others were convicted for 25 years each last year for participation in ELA. The extreme left-wing group killed two people in a string of attacks on mainly police and US-linked targets between the mid-1970s and 1995. Tsigaridas was released from prison in January due to poor health. Civil servant Kassimis was acquitted in the first ELA trial that ended on October 11. However, they were all brought to trial again to face supplementary bombing charges. They all pleaded innocent. The prosecutor also recommended that veteran trade unionist Yiannis Serifis, 67, who was cleared of involvement in ELA last year, be acquitted. Andriotelis said there was no evidence that Serifis was involved in the terrorist group but even if he was, argued the prosecutor, the statute of limitations would apply to charges since ELA ceased its operations in 1995. Serifis has also been cleared of membership in Greece’s main left-wing terrorist group, November 17, which police suspected of having close links with ELA. Fifteen people were given long prison sentences in December 2003 for membership of November 17, which killed 23 people between 1975-2000. Andriotelis said Serifis should be cleared of involvement in a 1994 riot police bus bombing, which killed a police officer, because of the statute of limitations. The prosecutor is set to complete his summary tomorrow.