Greek Court Orders Man Jailed for Bank Robbery, Terror Ties Set Free

FILE - Tasos Theofilou. Photo: Eurokinissi

ATHENS – A five-member criminal appeals court ruled July 7 that Tasos Theofilou, serving 25 years in prison for armed robbery, was innocent of all charges, including of allegedly being a member of the notorious terrorist group Conspiracy of the cells of Fire.

Theofilou had been in prison since his arrest over his alleged involvement in a deadly armed robbery on the island of Paros in 2012 and was expected to be freed immediately. It was not reported whether he would take action against the legal system.

If the appeals court had accepted a prosecutor’s proposal, he could have faced a life sentence.

In January, 2014 a prosecutor in the trial of Theofilou, then 31 and accused of killing a taxi driver on the island during the armed robbery, said he should be found guilty.

He wass accused of being part of a group of robbers who tried to hold up an Alpha Bank branch on the Cycladic island in August 2012. During the raid 53-year-old taxi driver Dimitris Michas was shot as he tried to stop the gang.

Theofilou denied all charges, arguing that he was not in Paros at the time of the robbery. He has also said that while he is an anarchist, he wasn’t a terrorist nor a member of the group.

On the night of July 6, self-styled anarchists vandalized the facade of an office belonging to ruling SYRIZA in the Kalamaria region of Thessaloniki to express solidarity with Theofilou after a similar incident earlier in the day at a SYRIZA office in Thessaloniki, protesting a party with anarchist and terrorist sympathizers.