ATHENS – Jailed November 17 terrorist killer Dimitris Koufodinas, who was behind the murder of five Americans, was granted a fourth vacation, this one from a low-security farm where he was transferred, this time to denunciation from the United States which previously had only tweeted complaints
Koufodinas is serving 11 life sentences plus 25 years for involvement in the terror group that operated from the 1970’s until being broken up ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics amid speculation US pressure made it happen.
The 48-hour furlough was approved by a prison disciplinary board. All prisoners in Greece are eligible for time off from jail no matter the seriousness of their offense but there was no word whether anyone else had gotten the same break.
Critics said the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is paving the way for Koufodinas to be released to gain favor with their base after the Premier constantly reneged on anti-austerity promises on orders of international creditors he vowed to defy but to whom he surrendered.
The US State Dept. issued a condemnation, through spokeswoman Heather Nauert, but there no reported plans to do anything else, such as calling in the Greek Ambassador to explain or threaten diplomatic sanctions.
“These furloughs are a shameful injustice to his many victims’ families and serve as a further incentive for his anarchist followers to commit further violent and destructive acts in his name. Our Embassy in Athens has conveyed our serious concerns about this decision to the Greek government,” she added.
Pointing out that Koufodinas had received 11 days’ furlough already this year, she said: “We do not believe that a convicted terrorist, who has murdered not just US personnel, but from other governments as well, including innocent civilians in Greece … should be given a vacation from prison,” but that was far as the US was willing to go.
This was Koufodinas’ first furlough from Volos agricultural jail, the open farm where he was sent and where inmates can earn time off their sentences if they pick fruit and do other labors. He had been in the high-security Korydallos Prison in Athens.
US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt keeps referring to Greece as “a pillar of stability in the region,” despite the government’s known support for terrorism.