NEWS

Top anti-terror officer quits force

Greece’s anti-terrorist squad, which has been under pressure following a dramatic resurgence of activity by domestic urban guerrillas over the last six months, suffered another blow yesterday when one of its top officers resigned, citing complaints about the way the department is being run. Until recently, Fotis Papageorgiou served as commander of the anti-terrorist squad and, with 27 years of experience in the police, he was one of the most respected senior officers. In March he was promoted and put in charge of the squad that tackles violent crime. However, sources said Papageorgiou felt that he had been isolated as he was not adequately briefed by his colleagues when he assumed the new post. He claimed he was not made privy to intelligence gathered by the department before he moved there and that the lines of communication with the anti-terrorist squad broke down. «I can no longer fulfill my duties in a way that will be useful for the force,» Papageorgiou is reported to have written in a letter to police chief Vassilis Tsiatouras. Papageorgiou is said to have expressed strong disagreement with the way that members of the anti-terrorist squad have been evaluated while also raising questions about the department’s plan of action. Papageorgiou, then in charge of the department that was responsible for gathering information, played a key role in uncovering the members of the November 17 terrorist group earlier this decade. His departure from the force is likely to pile more pressure on Tsiatouras as well as the anti-terrorist squad, which has come under scrutiny due to recent brazen attacks by Revolutionary Struggle and the newly emerged Sect of Revolutionaries. Both groups have claimed attacks on the police but no suspects have yet been arrested in connection with the armed raids.