Xeros claims leading role in November 17

As suspected November 17 hitman Savvas Xeros prepared yesterday to claim a leading role in the left-wing terrorist group’s activities – including crimes committed when he was still in junior high school – yet another suspect retracted his earlier confession, denying participation in N17 killings. In a written testimony to be presented today to Leonidas Zervobeakos, the examining magistrate heading the N17 investigation, the 40-year-old icon-painter will claim the «political responsibility» for the group’s hits since its birth in 1975, a legal source said yesterday. «I take upon myself the political responsibility for all the group’s attacks since 1975, and I am responsible [for carrying out the attacks] since 1982, for which the Americans are responsible, being global terrorists,» Xeros said in a leaked version of the document made available yesterday, which reiterated claims that he had been coerced into giving police information that led to the arrest of most of the other 17 N17 suspects. «They threatened me with torture and the electric chair, they tried to alter my conscience with drugs,» he said. Yesterday, suspected N17 leader Alexandros Yotopoulos was given a week’s extension to prepare his testimony in connection with supplementary charges of complicity in all the group’s crimes. Meanwhile, Vassilis Tzortzatos retracted his initial confession that included participation in killings, claiming he had been coerced into giving it, while Thomas Serifis confessed to supplementary charges of participation in three N17 thefts. Yesterday, Angeliki Sotiropoulou, the only female N17 suspect, tabled a demand for better detention conditions – noting that her cell is sunless and the toilet could be better – and more frequent visiting hours for her 12-year-old son.