N17 leader turns back on group

Alexandros Yotopoulos, the man who was convicted two years ago of being the leader of the November 17 terrorist group, yesterday told a court hearing the gang’s appeals that he did not agree with N17’s actions over the last few decades. Speaking through his lawyer Yiannis Rouchiotis, Yotopoulos told the court in the women’s wing of Korydallos Prison that N17’s actions had been a «daring political undertaking of the modern left» but that he did not agree with what the group had done. It was the most emphatic statement so far from Yotopoulos disassociating himself from the campaign that led to the killing of 23 people during 27 years. Yotopoulos received 21 life sentences plus 25 years for his participation in the group but has maintained his innocence. Meanwhile, N17’s chief hit man Dimitris Koufodinas insisted that the group’s actions had been politically motivated and that the defendants should be tried for political crimes. The five judges are set to rule tomorrow on whether to allow the group’s political ideology to be considered a mitigating factor in the defendants’ appeals.