US Ambassador Deplores Furlough for Greek Assassin of Americans

US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt. Photo: Eurokinissi/Giorgos Kontarinis

ATHENS – The United States Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt joined a chorus of condemnation of Greece for the two-day furlough given a notorious terrorist whose organization killed five Americans.

“I add my voice to those from across Greece’s political spectrum deploring prison council decision to release a convicted terrorist, murderer & N17 leader. Our democracies rest on independent judicial institutions, but today’s furlough dishonors the victims memory & their families,” Pyatt tweeted.
The 48-hour furlough was granted to November 17 terrorist leader Dimitris Koufodinas who left a high-security prison in all smiles with no guarantee he would return despite the condition he report to a police station twice a day.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said nothing about the release granted by an Appeals Justices’ Council and, for the first time, also had the approval of the Deputy Appeals Court Prosecutor who had previously refused.

Koufoudinas was convicted in 2003 as the chief assassin of the ultra-leftist November 17 terrorist group that killed 23 people, including five US diplomatic and military personnel before it was broken up in 2002. Dozens of others were injured in its reign of terror from 1972-2002.

The United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Greece Kate Smith – a British military attache was a November 17 victim – tore Greece apart on Twitter too.

“We respect the independence of the Greek judiciary, however, we are deeply saddened by the decision to provide a furlough from prison to terrorist murderer, and we share the pain that this decision causes to the families of the victims,” she said.

Apart from Pyatt’s reaction, there was none from the White House or Tweet-happy US President Donald Trump, who met Tsipras in Washington last month.