ATHENS – Changing its party line that Greece is “a pillar of stability in the region,” the US Embassy denounced the idea that a notorious killer terrorist whose group Nov. 17 murdered five Americans should be released from jail on health grounds.
Anny Paparoussou, a lawyer for a Savvas Xiros, said he should be let out of prison because he’s disabled from injuries suffered when a bomb he was making to kill people blew up in his hands.
He was arrested and his interrogation led to the end of the group that killed 23 Western diplomats and Greeks between 1975 and 2000 and was disbanded just ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens as pressure grew for the government to finally catch the terrorists.
US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt had been mostly mum as the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said he would take Greece out of NATO and end any American military presence in Greece, changed his tune to become a key US ally and had backed leniency for Dimitris Koufodinas, one of the group’s leaders, who also wants to be released.
A Tweet posted on the embassy’s Twitter page noted that “… a decision to let Savvas Xiros out of prison before serving his sentence as handed down by the Greek justice system would be a disservice to the memory of the American mission members he killed and their families.”
The posting was accompanied by a photograph of the plaque on the embassy’s ground displaying the names of the five US diplomats and military personnel assassinated by the group, whose family members protested any prospects the killers should get favored treatment, with SYRIZA riddled with anarchist and terrorist sympathizers.
The tweet said: “A decision to let Savvas Xiros out of prison before serving his sentence as handed down by the Greek justice system would be a disservice to the memory of the American mission members he killed and their families.” But the denunciation was left at that.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)