Yotopoulos exposed

The case which remained unresolved for two months finally came to a close yesterday afternoon in plain but striking fashion. Greece’s most-wanted suspect had to persuade the guards at police headquarters that he was, indeed, Dimitris Koufodinas. The reasons that prompted Koufodinas to turn himself in are still unknown. He most likely realized that he had little chance of escaping or thought his life was in danger. Probably, he was influenced by the intense pressure put by the anti-terrorism squad on his companion, Angeliki Sotiropoulou. Most crucially, from a political perspective, Koufodinas, said to be second-in-command in the group’s hierarchy, acted as a true leader. He emphasized the group’s ideological and political motives and undertook political responsibility for its activities. He made clear, however, that he will not cooperate with the police authorities, nor fall into the trap of admitting specific acts. Moreover, he expressed his solidarity with the other suspects and avoided criticizing those who cooperated with the police. With his stance, Koufodinas not only distanced himself from Alexandros Yotopoulos; he actually left him politically exposed. The alleged founder and leader of the group has denied being a member of November 17 and has refused all political responsibility. Even if he decides to take a different stance during the trial, it will be too late. His public image has already been tarnished, as people expected him to shoulder political responsibility for the acts which sealed the country’s political life for 27 years. Koufodinas has been at the heart of intense speculation over alleged contacts with the state intelligence service (EYP). Numerous scenarios have been articulated on TV programs, a fact which adds weight to his reaction. It is to be hoped that the trial will put an end to unfettered speculation, which is often little but pure disinformation.

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