NEWS

Police seek terrorists’ arms cache

As six suspected members of the Revolutionary Struggle extremist guerrilla group faced a prosecutor yesterday, officers of the police’s counterterrorism unit continued their search for a hideout containing explosives and weapons used by the organization. The five men and one woman, aged between 30 and 41, were charged with membership of a terrorist group and with multiple counts of murder, causing explosions and weapons offenses in connection with a string of attacks on police and business and government targets over the past seven years. Three of the six suspects were given until tomorrow to prepare their defense; the other three have until Thursday morning. Nikos Maziotis, the group’s suspected leader, was quoted as saying that he would not testify tomorrow. «These charges are politically motivated and so we will not defend ourselves; we are not going to legitimize this process,» the 39-year-old Maziotis allegedly told the court. Meanwhile, sources told Kathimerini that police have information linking another 10 people to bombings and armed attacks that have been claimed by Revolutionary Struggle. Officers are seeking the incriminating evidence that will allow them to issue warrants for the additional suspects’ arrests. But there is reportedly a lot of material to get through. One police source told Kathimerini that officers have only examined 10 percent of the evidence that has been gathered following dozens of raids on homes of suspects over the weekend. Police are also seeking the hideout where the organization stored the weaponry and explosives for its attacks. So far raids on a string of apartments – including one in Nea Philadelphia, northern Athens, where the suspects are alleged to have met before nearly all the attacks – have turned up only computer hard drives containing proclamations and hand-drawn sketches, not explosives and weapons. According to sources, police believe the weapons cache is located in the triangle formed by the Athens districts of Nea Ionia, Nea Philadelphia and Perissos. Forensic experts yesterday were examining bullet casings from a Kalashnikov assault rifle found in a remote spot on the slopes of Mount Hymettus by officers who had followed one of the six suspects there over the weekend ahead of their arrests. Police believe the group had used the spot for firing practice.