NEWS

Sotiropoulou joins otherN17 suspects

A council of appeals court judges ruled yesterday that Angeliki Sotiropoulou, who is accused of being a member of November 17, be jailed pending trial. This ended Sotiropoulou’s temporary release after prosecutor Kyriakos Karoutsos and investigating judge Leonidas Zervobeakos disagreed early on Sunday whether the 40-year-old beekeeper and mother of a 12-year-old boy should be remanded. Sotiropoulou gave herself up to police at a prearranged point in a street in downtown Athens yesterday afternoon. She was to spend the night at the anti-terrorism squad’s headquarters and would be taken to Korydallos Prison today. Sixteen other suspected members of November 17, all men, are being held there pending trial. They include her companion of 13 years, Dimitris Koufodinas, and her former husband, Savvas Xeros. Sotiropoulou denies the charges of being a member of a criminal organization and of procuring and possessing weapons and explosives. The three judges yesterday accepted Karoutsos’s proposal that she be jailed. He noted that her fingerprints were found on a doorframe in an apartment used by November 17 to hide weapons. «Angeliki Sotiropoulou is neither dangerous nor likely to flee. We do not understand the judicial council’s decision. And there is also a young child that no one thinks about,» Sotiropoulou’s lawyer, Gianna Kourtovic, told reporters. Sotiropoulou may apply for a conditional release pending her trial, sources said. She was taken to the meeting point by Alicia Romero Cortes (Xeros’s girlfriend) and her son. The furor continued to rage over Xeros’s recent interviews, in which he claimed that he had been forced into making the confessions that led to the breakup of the gang. Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis said, «The prosecutor’s office guarantees the legality of the process and the unhindered presence of lawyers in all phases of every trial for every defendant.» The Athens Journalists Union defended reporters’ right to interview anyone «as long as the journalists ask questions that will lead to the truth.» The government spokesman said it was society’s duty to help «break down the myth of terrorism.»