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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-07-24

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, July 24, 2002

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] MAN ARRESTED OUTSIDE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE
  • [02] TWO HIDEOUTS IN THESSALONIKI - MORE ARRESTS EXPECTED
  • [03] TELIOS PRESENTS HIMSELF AS A N17 VICTIM
  • [04] MAN ARRESTED OUTSIDE THE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE IDENTIFIED
  • [05] MILLER: NO EVIDENCE CONNECTING N17 TO PAK-PASOK STAFF MEMBERS
  • [06] INVESTIGATION CONCERNING N17 LEAKS
  • [07] "NIKITAS": A LEADING 17N MEMBER HAS BEEN ARRESTED
  • [08] THE TURKISH DHKP-C IS NOT ACTIVE IN GREECE
  • [09] MORE ARRESTS OF 17N MEMBERS
  • [10] KOSTAS TELIOS WILL APPEAR BEFORE THE EXAMINING JUDGE ON FRIDAY
  • [11] THE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC ORDER WILL BRIEF THE EU AMBASSADORS
  • [12] GREECE'S POSITION IN THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE WILL BE STRENGTHENED
  • [13] BIG LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [14] THE TRIAL ON THE "FALCON" ACCIDENT CONTINUES
  • [15] GREEK-TURKISH TALKS IN ANKARA
  • [16] SIMITIS ON THE 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] MAN ARRESTED OUTSIDE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE A man between 60-65, was arrested while he was ready to fire a pellet gun, 20-30 yards from Prime Minister Kostas Simitis' residence, while his target is still unknown. The arrested man was taken to the authorities and is being questioned.

    The incident took place after 10am. It should be noted that the Prime Minister was in Skala, Oropos, participating in an event for the 28 years since the reinstitution of Democracy in Greece.

  • [02] TWO HIDEOUTS IN THESSALONIKI - MORE ARRESTS EXPECTED Authorities are searching for three more individuals, after confessions during the preliminary examination of individuals arrested for participation in the operational branch of "November 17". These three individuals go by the nicknames "Nikitas", "Takis " or "Film", and "Aris" and are being searched for by the authorities while searches for Dimitris Koufontinas, who is believed to have had a central operational role, continue. 11 individuals have been arrested so far, after a 37-year-old teacher, Mr. Tel ios who seems to have given information to the authorities on two hideouts in Thessaloniki during his preliminary examination, turned himself in to the Thessaloniki Police Direction last night.

    Meanwhile, the accused that have been arrested so far are trying to lighten their position, stressing that they considered their participation in the organization a form of political intervention, and have named A. Giotopoulos as one leading members. How ever, he denies all charges, except for the possession of false identification, and is appreciated to be waiting to see all the evidence at the disposal of the authorities and then decide on his position. He is already awaiting trial.

    All preliminary examination material will be transferred to the court of appeals within the next two days, where special appeals District Attorney Leonidas Zervobeakos and his two replacements, Panos Petropoulos and Thofanis Birbos, will take charge. Add itional testimonies are expected from the accused that have already testified to the 4th regular examiner, while Karatsonis and Kostaris are also expected to testify to her.

    Two "November 17" hideouts in Thessaloniki are under police surveillance, where, according to information, equipment was gathered to be used in a future organization strike, possibly against a NATO military vehicle convoy heading for Kossovo.

    According to "Macedonia" newspaper, these are basement apartments rented by members of the organization many months ago, possibly with false identification, one on a main Thessaloniki street and the other in a municipality outside the city.

    The police authorities appreciated that they will be led to new N17 members, as well as to new information on the organization from the evidence to be taken from the two hideouts.

  • [03] TELIOS PRESENTS HIMSELF AS A N17 VICTIM Kostas Telios, a.k.a. "Markos", the latest member of "November 17" to be arrested, presented himself as a victim of the organization, not a victimizer, in an interview he gave to the "Macedonia" newspaper, shortly before turning himself in to the police,

    a decision made in fear of the possibility that other N17 members would try to "shut him up".

    Specifically, the 37-year-old teacher from Thessaloniki, supported that he naively joined the organization, without knowing that he was part of N17 for more than a year, under the impression that it was just an anti-authority organization. He said that h e was forced to live in fear for his life and that of his family for 5 years, and that he managed to distance himself ten years ago, when he decided to do his tour of duty, despite the opposing views of the other organization members, who insisted on exem pting him from his military obligations. He pointed out Savvas Xeros, Dimitris Koufontinas and Lambros as the most cold-blooded killers of the organization, while he recognized one of the leaders of the organization in the face of Lambros. He denied any p articipation in the Sykourio arms theft, which other members have attributed to him, claiming that his participation in some of the organization's operations was purely a "decoration".

    Also, in his interview, Telios made mention of organization members in Thessaloniki, which he does not know personally, estimating however that there is no real substructure in the city.

    Finally, Markos mentioned his ideological disagreements with the organization, which he had repeatedly expressed, and due to which he had been threatened of being "retired". He characterized the organization members as "individuals with no moral height",

    he stressed that he did not understand many of the organization's actions, such as the Bakoyannis killing, and he stated his regrets for his implication in the organization, which he stressed was limited awhile he never had an important role in any of th e operations.

  • [04] MAN ARRESTED OUTSIDE THE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE IDENTIFIED Socrates Loutsis, from Rhodes, is the elderly man who was arrested this morning outside the Prime Minister's residence, in possession of a pellet gun. The arrested man underwent treatment in the Leros psychiatric ward.
  • [05] MILLER: NO EVIDENCE CONNECTING N17 TO PAK-PASOK STAFF MEMBERS US Ambassador to Athens, Thomas Miller, stated that he does not have any evidence confirming a relation between "N17" to PAK or PASOK, while he characterized the issue as secondary at this point and as long as investigations concerning the eradication of

    a terrorist organization continue, and he asked for no attention to be paid to statements by individuals who do not hold official positions.

    The US Ambassador stressed that the Greek authorities dealt with the issue effectively and added that the US sill continue to assist in their efforts. "Very serious work has been done in the last few years, there is a very competent Justice Minister, the re is decisiveness".

  • [06] INVESTIGATION CONCERNING N17 LEAKS The Head of the Athens Court of First Instance District Attorney's office, Sotiris Bayas, ordered a preliminary investigation to be carried out on the leaks, concerning the statements of "November 17" members, to the media.

    Court of First Instance DA Ioannis Karaiskos is in charge of the preliminary investigation, and has been asked to investigate if any criminal actions concerning the keeping of official duties and harboring a felon has taken place, since it was indirectly

    made known that there are other wanted in connection to N17.

    According to other information, the authorities are thinking of prosecuting Savvas Xeros while he is still hospitalized, as soon as the counter-terrorism's investigation is over, so that the warrant for his arrest is officially issued. The charges agains t him include all the felonies and misdemeanors made known so far, since he is the first to admit his participation in the "package" of illegal activity, while giving the authorities the names of his accomplices.

    Reminding the authorities of procedural principle, "everyone one is considered innocent until proven guilty", Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas condemned both the leaking of preliminary examination information as well as the "television window trials", yesterday. In an announcement he had made earlier he characterized the leak as "a very damaging action that cannot remain without consequences for those who are responsible", and he called the government to fortify the authority of the investigat ive procedure.

    Mr. Protopapas attributed the leaking of preliminary investigation testimonies of the accused members of N17 to individuals that "had legal access to the relative briefs. Such actions are completely unreasonable", he added, appealing to the authorities t o do their jobs "which they do well". In fact he criticized those performing television trials, noting that such phenomena "are outside the principle of the rule of law. They does not fit our democracy". Athens Bar Association: For whom the bell tolls?

    The Athens Bar Association (DSA) is threatening with disciplinary action against members that appear on the media, due to the terrorism cases, rekindling the phenomenon of "teletrials".

    The DSA supports that every person has the right to choose an attorney by his own free will and whom he trusts, and the self-evident position that counsel and client are not the same person.

    Finally, it condemns the leaking of briefs to the media, which is a violation of questioning confidentiality.

  • [07] "NIKITAS": A LEADING 17N MEMBER HAS BEEN ARRESTED The terrorist group "17 November" member with the code-name "Nikitas" has been arrested. According to information, he is Pavlos Serifis, 45-55 years old. The arrest was made at the house of his wife at Anthiro village in Karditsa, central Greece. The sus pect is now transferred to Athens.

    Pavlos Serifis is a cousin of Iraklis Kostaris, who was arrested together with Kostas Karatsolis and has admitted his participation in the terrorist organization "17 November". He is also a cousin of Makis Serifis, who was arrested in the village of Morf io, in the prefecture of Thesprotia.

    Pavlos Serifis was an orphan since the age of 3 and was raised by the mother of Iraklis Kostaris. He went to Germany where he stayed with Andreas Serifis. He later returned to Greece and worked as a telephone operator at the Children's Hospital "Aglaia K iriakou" in Athens. He is married and a father of two.

    Christodoulos Xiros had referred to "Nikitas" in his testimony and had mentioned that he was close to "Lambros" (namely, Alexandros Giotopoulos). Christodoulos Xiros had also stated that he was probably a member of the terrorist group's leadership team.

  • [08] THE TURKISH DHKP-C IS NOT ACTIVE IN GREECE Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated yesterday that Ankara has made no formal police assistance request on issues of terrorism even though certain questions have been posed to the Greek embassy.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that Turkish nationals, who have requested and received political asylum and are regarded political refugees, are in Greece from time to time.

    On the information concerning the alleged presence of the Turkish organization Revolutionary People's Liberation Party / Front (DHKP-C) in Greece, Mr. Protopapas stated that no such organization has or could have offices in Greece. He maintained that obv iously there has been a mix-up with an association, in which participate Greeks as well, and operates legally.

    According to Turkish news agency Anadolu, Ankara had requested to be briefed by Greece on any information it has on DHKP-C and its leader Dursun Karatash.

  • [09] MORE ARRESTS OF 17N MEMBERS Another "17 November" terrorist group member is expected to be arrested soon and according to press information, is a relative of Kostas Karatsolis, who is in police custody and has admitted participation in the terrorist group.

    Based on the same sources, more people will be arrested today, tomorrow and the following day and a woman will be among them.

  • [10] KOSTAS TELIOS WILL APPEAR BEFORE THE EXAMINING JUDGE ON FRIDAY The prosecutor filed criminal charges against 37-year-old Kostantinos Telios today. Telios surrendered to Thessaloniki police yesterday admitting participation in the terrorist group "17 November".

    Telios is accused of participation in a criminal organization, supply and possession of explosives, gun possession, gun use, murder, attempted murder, and robbery.

    He later appeared before the examining judge and received more time until Friday to prepare his testimony.

  • [11] THE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC ORDER WILL BRIEF THE EU AMBASSADORS Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Papandreou and Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis will brief the EU ambassadors to Athens on the developments in the issue of terrorism. Mr. Papandreou stated that the government's political will to continue the efforts against terrorism will be confirmed in the contacts that will take place.

    Mr. Papandreou stated that he will brief the Turkish ambassador on the issue, as Turkish diplomats were among the victims of the "17 November" terrorist group. Mr. Papandreou stated that all the countries with victims of terrorism will be briefed by tomo rrow.

  • [12] GREECE'S POSITION IN THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE WILL BE STRENGTHENED The belief that the successes in the efforts against terrorism in Greece will strengthen the country's position internationally, was expressed by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and Minister of National Defense Yiannos Papantoniou after the meeting w ith Prime Minister Kostas Simitis today. The meeting was held to discuss issues concerning the Greek EU presidency.

    It was stressed that the priorities of the Greek side will be the EU-NATO relations based on the Seville texts and the right preconditions for the operation of the Euro-army. Also, according to Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou another major issue is the adoption of common European policy terms in the sector of armaments as the Greek defense industry has a strong interest in the field.

    Referring to the efforts against terrorism, Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou underlined that the successes sent out the message that the country has the political will to deal with the issue in a tangible way.

  • [13] BIG LOSSES IN THE ASE Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index plunged to -2.80% at 2.027,43 points, while the volume of transactions was 114.5 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 326 recorded losses and only 13 managed to have gains, while the value of 40 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [14] THE TRIAL ON THE "FALCON" ACCIDENT CONTINUES The freak accident on board the Prime Minister's "Falcon" aircraft on September 14, 1999 in which deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, his son Nicolas and five more people were killed, was the result of human error by the pilot Yiannis Androulaki s, according to prosecutor Konstantina Kolia.

    The trial concerning the conditions under which the accident happened continues and the prosecutor called for a guilty verdict to be issued on the pilot, while she suggested the acquittal of the co-pilot and other eight Olympic Airways technicians, respo nsible for the aircraft's maintenance.

  • [15] GREEK-TURKISH TALKS IN ANKARA The regular biannual Greek-Turkish consultations on international and regional issues will be held in Ankara tomorrow. The talks will take place at political directors' level between ambassadors Giorgos Gennimatas and Baki Ilkin.

    The relevant statement was made by Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis.

  • [16] SIMITIS ON THE 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY The 28th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece coincides with the culmination of the efforts against terrorism, underlined Prime Minister Kostas Simitis today during his visit to the site where the Oropos Prison used to be.

    He stressed characteristically that terrorism is led to a defeat because the arrests reflect the strengthening of the democratic institutions.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the restoration of democracy is the result of the struggle of the Greek people as a whole and underlined that the political forces of the Center and the Left had a leading role in the 7-year-long struggle against dictatorship. He said that the Prisons in Oropos, Yiaros, Makronisos and Leros are symbols of historical memory, adding that Oropos, 28 years after the restoration of democracy in Greece, symbolizes dignity and humanism.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, the Prime Minister stated that it is a dark legacy left to hellenism by the dictatorship and made it clear that Greece works ceaselessly for Cyprus' EU accession. He also underlined that the message of this year's anniver sary is the strengthening of democracy in the country aimed at a better and stronger Greece.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


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