NEWS

‘Sole natural instigator’

Savvas Xeros, after a stream of «self-contradictions,» appears to have adopted the tactics of Dimitris Koufodinas in his latest additional testimony, in which he not only revokes all his original denials but takes the political responsibility for all of November 17 activities and claims for himself the role of «sole natural instigator from 1982 until the present day.» In the 25-page memorandum comprising his additional testimony (the final eight pages – his manifesto – have been removed and placed in a file by an appeals prosecutor for ostensibly having no relation to the charges), Xeros attempts to exonerate Alexandros Yotopoulos (whom he claims not to recognize by the code name of «Lambros»), Pavlos Serifis, Theologos Psaradellis, Iraklis Kostaris, Dionysis Georgiadis, as well as his brothers Vassilis and Christodoulos. «I felt fear and delirium due to the effect of the drugs they had given me. My defense statements during the preliminary investigation are invalid and illegal,» he states. Serifis and Psaradellis are being unjustly implicated in N17 operations, Xeros claims, adding that his only contact with Kostaris consisted of political discussions. Xeros adds that Georgiadis was just an assistant in his workshop and that his only involvement in N17 was to have been misled into renting the apartment in Damareos Street (where one of N17’s hideouts was discovered) because Xeros had told him he wanted to take a girl there. Vassilis Xeros did not play an active role in the organization, Xeros says of his brother, adding that the latter only stole cars and motorcycles «because I told him I needed the spare parts. He didn’t know about my role in N17 until 1999.» Of his other sibling, Christodoulos, Xeros states categorically that he was stout and sluggish and so unable to participate actively in N17, although he concedes that his brother «belongs to leftist circles.» In the «political» sector of his defense, Xeros explains the motives which drove him to participate in N17. «I was disappointed with the political changeover in 1981 and with the appearance of more repressive mechanisms. Popular anti-American sentiment was still very much alive. I was influenced by the slaughter of Palestinians, the invasion of Iraq, and the war in Yugoslavia. This entire political and social climate drove me to armed struggle. We live in a worldwide dictatorship. I undertake the responsibility for all N17 activities as the sole natural instigator from 1982 until today.» On Tuesday, Athens’s Evangelismos hospital filed a petition in court to freeze 30,000 euros of assets belonging to Savvas Xeros to secure payment for the latter’s nine-week stay at the hospital following his injury in a bungled bomb attack on June 29 which led to the breakup of November 17. Georgiadis pleads innocent to further charges Alleged November 17 operative Dionysis Georgiadis on Tuesday denied an additional charge leveled at him, telling an investigating magistrate he was not involved in the 1998 robbery of a bank in Pangrati which resulted in the injury of a duty clerk. Georgiadis also maintained that a 1998 bomb attack on another bank – which he has also denied participating in – had been carried out by state intelligence services. Also on Tuesday, N17 suspect Constantinos Telios gave additional testimony, claiming to have participated in observation activities ahead of the raid on the Sykourio military camp but not in the raid itself and claimed responsibility for the getaway vehicles used following the attack on former Finance Minister Ioannis Palaiokrassas but no other involvement. Meanwhile, confessed N17 hitman Dimitris Koufodinas has been granted an extension to prepare his defense against additional charges in connection with 13 murders he has been implicated in.