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Society

Greek High Court Ruling Opens Door for Terrorist Killer Furlough

May 26, 2019

ATHENS – A ruling by Greece’s Supreme Court that a judicial council should review whether terrorist killer Dimitris Koufodinas should get a furlough that was barred by a prosecutor is seen as paving the way for approval of another vacation for him.

Koufodinas stopped a hunger strike after the high court went along with its top prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou, who said he was entitled to a furlough despite not fulfilling some of the key conditions, such as showing remorse, as he remains defiant and during his last furlough was seen walking around Athens smirking and pointing out the spots where he and his disbanded Nov. 17 terror group killed 23 people, including five attached to the US Embassy.

Dimitriou last year had said she would probe approval of a furlough for Koufodinas, who has had six despite being called “a murderer, not Robin Hood,” by US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, but wouldn’t explain her change of heart in backing him.

The ruling, which was issued by the court’s criminal section, sends the decision back to the judicial court in the northeast central municipality of Volos, near the low-security work farm where Koufodinas was transferred from a high-security prison.

Previous judicial councils have twice rejected Koufodinas’ request for a seventh furlough, ruling that he has not expressed remorse for his crimes. A new judicial council – with different judges – is to convene in the coming days and review the case again.

The Supreme Court said Koufodinas should be rewarded for good behavior during his previous six furloughs, apart from gleefully pointing out the murder sites, which the court said showed “a lack of respect for the memory of the victims,” he and his group killed.

Despite that reservation, Kathimerini said the ruling will likely open the door for Koufodinas with no reports any other prisoners are getting furloughs, even those who aren’t misbehaving.

With the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA sympathetic to Koufodinas, the major opposition New Democracy, leading in polls with general elections coming this year, said the furlough law would be shelved for violent criminals if the Conservatives come to power.

Koufodinas is serving 11 life sentences for his role as the main hitman in the now defunct N17 and relatives of his victims have protested the constant leniency he’s been shown with speculation SYRIZA wanted him released.

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