Council indicts 13 terror suspects

Of the 17 people who have been linked to the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire guerrilla group, 13 are to face trial while four have been cleared of any charges, according to a decision issued yesterday by a council of appeals court judges. The trial date is to be set early next year. According to the court’s decision, 12 of the suspects are to be tried on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and participation in three attacks in 2009 – a bomb blast in July at the home in southern Athens of Panayiotis Hinofotis, then deputy interior minister, a blast targeting the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry in Thessaloniki in early September and an explosion later that month at the central Athens political office of Louka Katseli, then a PASOK MP and now labor and social insurance minister. Of the 12 suspects facing trial for these attacks, seven have been released pending trial. They are 22-year-old Panayiotis Argyrou – one of two suspects arrested last week in connection with a letter bomb plot – as well as Harilaos Hatzimichelakis, Panayiotis Masouras, Constantina Karakatsani, Emmanouil Yiospas, Nikos Vogiatzakis and Errikos Rallis. Police are seeking the other five suspects: brothers Giorgos and Michalis Nikolopoulos, Damiano Bolano, who is of Italian descent, Giorgos Karayiannidis and Alexandros Mitrousias. The council has also indicted Christos Tsakalos, the elder brother of 24-year-old Gerasimos Tsakalos, on charges of membership of a terrorist organization. The latter is the second suspect arrested last week in connection with letter bombs that targeted foreign leaders and embassies. In all the suspects’ cases, the basic incriminating evidence is their fingerprints and DNA, taken from the group’s hideout in Halandri, northeastern Athens, in September last year. The council cleared four people: Eleni Kontopoulou, Antigone Helioti, Myrto Panteloglou and Nikos Bakovassilis.