Jailed dictator makes bid for early release

Former dictator Dimitrios Ioannides has asked for an amendment to the law that would allow some prisoners over 80 years old to be released from jail in the hope that his 33 years in custody at Korydallos Prison will also end. The amendment, which is part of reforms aimed at reducing overcrowding in Greek prisons, will allow any inmates in their 80s who also suffer from cirrhosis of the liver, severe disability or senility to be released. Ioannides, who is 86, does not fall into the latter categories but his lawyer wrote to Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis yesterday and said his client had other serious health problems. A Piraeus court recently turned down a second appeal for release by Ioannides and Hatzigakis has insisted the reforms will not result in his being set free. Ioannides led a coup against dictator Georgios Papadopoulos in November 1973 but was arrested in January 1975.

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