Condemnation of a decision by an independent judicial council to give Greece's most notorious terrorist a two-day furlough was swift on Thursday, hours after Dimitris Koufontinas walked out of an Athens-area prison.
"I add my voice to those from across Greece’s political spectrum deploring prison council decision to release a convicted terrorist, murderer & N17 leader. Our democracies rest on independent judicial institutions, but today’s furlough dishonors the victims memory & their families," was the Tweet by US ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt.
Koufontinas (Koufodinas), an unassuming beekeeper who lived in a two-storey country home in rural northern Attica prefecture by day, was convicted in 2003 as the chief assassin of the ultra-leftist “November 17” terrorist group.
The previously elusive terror gang killed five American diplomatic and military personnel in Greece before being eradicated in 2002. All total, its victims reached 23, with dozens of others injured in attack between 1975 and 2002.
Taking to Twitter as well, the UK’s ambassador to Greece, Kate Smith, Tweeted in Greek:
“We respect the independence of the Greek judiciary, however, we are deeply saddened by the decision to provide a furlough from prison to terrorist murderer, and we share the pain that this decision causes to the families of the victims.”
Britain’s military attaché to Greece, Stephen Saunders, was the last victim of the terrorist group, in June 15, 2000.