VOLOS, Greece – After strolling free six times in the past year on vacations from jail, Nov. 17 terror group mastermind assassin Dimitris Koufodinas’ petition for a seventh furough was nixed by a council of judges, after it appeared he would initially be granted the leave.
Koufodinas is serving 11 life sentences for being behind the killing of 23 people, including five Americans attached to the US Embassy over the decades before his group was broken up two years before the 2004 Athens Olympics, under pressure from the US and the international community.
He had asked for a four-day furlough starting Feb. 28, less than a month after his last leave when he was seen walking around Athens with a leader of the notorious anarchist group Rouvikonas, pointing out spots where he had people killed.
While his lawyer noted that Greek law allows anyone on jail, including serial killers, rapists, assassins and terrorists to ask for time off, there haven’t been any reports anyone but Koufodinas, who has support from within the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, has been approved.
His application was temporarily suspended after a prosecutor disagreed with a prison parole board’s recommendation to grant the request, noting that Koufodinas, who could be seen smiling and appearing to be gloating while he walked Athens, is unrepentant.
He was transferred from the capital’s high-security Korydallos Prison to an agricultural jail in central Greece last summer with critics of the government maintaining that SYRIZA wants him out.
His successive furloughs have prompted angry responses from the United States, before it backed off the tough talk following a US-Greece Strategic Dialogue in Washington, and with the US wanting a greater military presence in Greece.