In-depth investigation

The publication in Kathimerini’s Sunday edition of official documents written by the German secret police which indicated that foreign intelligence services had infiltrated the November 17 terrorist organization inevitably caused a stir. Their publication also reinforced the golden rule – that urban guerrilla groups, everywhere in the world, have always been penetrated by secret police keen to exploit and manipulate these organizations. These documents offer an opportunity to plumb previously unexplored aspects of November 17 activity. It is a common belief that while the ongoing trial may punish the guilty among the suspects, it has done little to further unravel the case or dispel worries that some members are still eluding capture. Similar thoughts have been expressed outside our national borders. «Many murky aspects, about the founders, the leaders and the activity of this mysterious group, have not yet been disclosed. Who formed this group and how is still unknown,» the respected Le Monde French daily wrote on Saturday, adding that court president Michalis Margaritis is doing a great job. Should there be evidence that foreign intelligence services infiltrated November 17 and that the Stasi, the East German secret police, called off the operation because it jeopardized the interests of the KGB, its Russian counterpart – and, more particularly, due to the need to protect an «important Greek businessman who funded the organization,» as a former Stasi agent claimed – the case will take on a whole new dimension. The minimum that one can demand from the authorities is that they investigate this fresh information in a serious and responsible manner. The competent bodies must interrogate everyone who might know anything that sheds light on the matter. It is irritating that the lengthy probe has failed to trace all these files, which have long been available to German intelligence. Or maybe the Greek authorities knew of the documents but decided to classify them as inessential? Whatever the case, the authorities must examine the case in depth. The government, for its part, must make sure not to mess up the work of the prosecutor, and avoid any interference with defamatory remarks, such as those uttered yesterday by the press minister, or by using other methods that do not help to reveal the whole truth on the issue.