No ‘invisible hand’ in N17 case

No «invisible hand» was obstructing the investigation into terrorism, Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos told Parliament yesterday, adding that the judiciary was independent and would summon whoever it wanted to. Responding to a question by ruling PASOK party MP Yiannis Kapsis, he said that «such claims, as well as those that said political parties provided the mantle for terrorism, are arbitrary.» Such claims have been made by members of the New Democracy opposition party. Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis noted that some news media have given the suspects and their sympathizers a platform. «All these wretched things should be isolated and not be made public, and their deeds have to be condemned, like yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) attack on a newspaper,» he said. He was referring to the firebomb attack on the Apoyevmatini daily in central Athens. Police yesterday summoned 40 people for questioning in connection with that attack, as well as with the spraying of pro-November 17 slogans on walls during an Athens march by leftists and anarchists on Tuesday. Meanwhile, police were investigating whether a box containing 20,000 euros in banknotes, found on a beach on the island of Leipsoi, belonged to alleged N17 leader Alexandros Yotopoulos. Yotopoulos, who was arrested on July 18, had a holiday home on the island. Two other detainees, Dimitris Koufodinas and Angeliki Sotiropoulou, made an announcement in Eleftherotypia newspaper that they intend to get married. This would allow them to meet every two weeks. In another development, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said, «Turkey expects that the members of the N17 terrorist organization will be handed the heaviest possible sentence.» Two Turkish diplomats were among 23 people killed by N17.