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Greece to review prison leave for hunger-striking extremist

18 May 2019, MVT 20:26
Anti-authoriterian protesters march in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on May 14, 2019 during a demonstration in support to hunger-striking far-left extremist serving 11 life terms for a string of murders, Dimitris Koufodinas, chief hit man for the November 17 group. - Koufodinas, 61, is in hospital due to the hunger strike he started May 2, after authorities in his prison rejected again his furlough request. (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP)
18 May 2019, MVT 20:26

Greece will re-evaluate a recent decision to deny temporary prison leave to a prominent far-left extremist on a two-week hunger strike, a judicial source said late Friday.

Supreme court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou called for a review of the decision, hours after Dimitris Koufodinas was rushed into emergency care, the source said.

Koufodinas, 61, was the main hitman of the far-left Greek extremist organisation November 17 that was dismantled in 2002, and is serving multiple life sentences.

He went on hunger strike on May 2 after a request for temporary leave from prison -- permissible by law -- was denied.

Six prior requests were granted by authorities over the last two years, prompting strong criticism from the US and British embassies and the families of November 17's victims.

Anarchists in recent days have carried out a vandalism spree in Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki in support of Koufodinas.

Earlier this week, members of a Greek radical anarchist outfit threw paint outside the home of the American ambassador to Greece over the issue.

Main opposition party New Democracy criticised the decision, saying in a statement: "No serious democratic state is blackmailed by terrorists or their admirers."

November 17 launched dozens of attacks between 1975 and 2000 that killed 23 people, including the CIA station chief in Athens, several prominent Greek businessmen, Turkish diplomats and the British military attache.

Athens, Greece | AFP

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