A Greek far-left militant convicted of multiple murders, including those of Turkish diplomats, was moved to a farm prison yesterday, officials said, days after the government was criticized for a similar move last week.
Christodoulos Xiros, a 60-year-old leading member of the terrorist group Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N), was moved from the maximum security Korydallos prison in Athens to a farm prison in Halkida, Justice Ministry sources said.
The move came just days after another ex-17N assassin, 60-year-old Dimitris Koufontinas, was likewise moved to another farm prison in Volos, where inmates engage in open-air manual labor. The decision by the leftist-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was strongly condemned by victims' families and foreign governments who have lost nationals to the outfit.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry had not commented on the move when Daily Sabah went to print, but it has condemned last week's moving of Koufontinas in a strong-worded statement. "It is unacceptable that a terrorist who killed our diplomats would benefit from such decisions," the statement said, adding "tolerating this terrorist was disrespectful to the memory of our martyred diplomats."
The 17N group, Greece's deadliest terror organization, killed 23 Western diplomats and Greeks between 1975 and 2000. Among the victims of the group are Çetin Görgü, a press attache at the Turkish embassy who was killed in Athens in 1991, and Counsellor Ömer Haluk Sipahioğlu who was stationed at the Turkish Embassy in Greece at the time of his murder in 1994. The 17N group is also responsible for a bombing in 1991 that wounded Deniz Bölükbaşı, another Turkish Embassy employee.
Xiros had gone missing after being given leave in 2014 by a non-leftist government. He was recaptured several months later.