N17 jail sentences could be trimmed

A prosecutor has proposed that members of the terrorist group November 17 have their massive sentences trimmed after some charges were dropped against them during an appeals trial that winds up this week. Prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani called for Alexandros Yotopoulos, convicted of being the mastermind of the group, to have his jail sentence reduced from 21 life terms and 2,109 years to 17 life terms and 1,865 years. Yotopoulos has described his conviction and sentencing as being the result of political bias against him and has said that he intends to appeal the decision at the European Court of Justice. The prosecutor also proposed that the sentence for the group’s main hit man, Dimitris Koufodinas, be reduced to 11 life sentences and 1,751 years from the original 13 life terms and 1,965 years handed to him. The members of the group, which was responsible for killing 23 people between 1973 and 2002, were first convicted four years ago. The appeals court ruled last week that the convictions against all the members be upheld, but quashed guilty verdicts against Nikos Papanastassiou and Pavlos Serifis on a legal technicality. The total penalties put forth for all group members add up to 39 life sentences and 6,604 years in jail, along with financial penalties of 103,500 euros. The court is expected to announce its decision on the verdicts tomorrow.