Greece’s High Court Will Rule on Furlough for Koufodinas

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)

ATHENS – With Greece’s capital city under repeated attack from anarchists demanding a furlough from jail – the seventh – for November 17 terrorist assassin Dimitris Koufodinas, the country’s highest court is due to decide whether to overturn a prosecutor’s decision preventing another vacation for him.

The decision could come as soon as May 23 or May 24, said media reports, as violence in support of him was being stepped up by the notorious anarchist group Rouvikonas, including a paint bomb attack on Parliament.

Koufodinas, 61, has been hospitalized after beginning a hunger strike May 2 to protest the prosecutor overruling a recommendation from a council at the low-security work farm to which he was transferred from a high-security prison, the board saying he should get out.

He is serving 11 life sentences for his role in the terror group’s murders of 23 people, including five Americans attached to the US Embassy over the years, with Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt – whose home was splashed with paint by Rouvikonas – denouncing his supporters and saying that Koufodinas “is a murderer, not Robin Hood.”

The penal section of the Supreme Court discussed an appeal filed by the court’s top prosecutor Xeni Dimtiriou who recommended the furlough for Koufodinas, although he doesn’t appear to be eligible under furlough laws which require prisoners to be repentant The judges convened in a closed-door session to examine the case although Dimitriou, who was not present, said previously that even criminals serving multiple life sentences can be granted a furlough, provided they have served a specific part of their term.

There’s been no reports anyone other than Koufodinas though has been given any. Dimitriou wanted to overturn the rejection of his furlough after he was hospitalized during his hunger strike, with Rouvikonas warning violence if anything happens to him, as he said he would continue not eating “until the end.”

It was a sharp turnaround for Dimitriou who last year had ordered a disciplinary investigation against two prosecutors who had agreed to grant Koufodinas a new leave but she wouldn’t explain her change of heart.