|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-07-24
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, July 24, 2002
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
Based on the same sources, more people will be arrested today, tomorrow and the following day and a woman will be among them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The relevant statement was made by Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis.
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