Police not in the dark over hit
Public order minister says ELAS has evidence from Halandri attack, slams Maziotis release as mistake
Four days after unknown gunmen riddled the official residence of Germany’s ambassador to Athens with bullets from two AK-47 assault rifles, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said that the Greek Police (ELAS) is reviewing evidence regarding the suspected terrorist attack while expressing regret over the release of Nikos Maziotis, a convicted terrorist leader who has been on the run since the summer of 2012.
“I can assure you that ELAS is not feeling its way in the dark... But that of course is far from saying that we have been able to build a case file,” Dendias said in an interview with Kathimerini, adding that the authorities were also examining findings from the deadly shootings at Golden Dawn’s offices in Neo Iraklio in November.
Dendias fended off suggestions that Wolfgang Dold’s house in the northern suburb of Halandri was not adequately protected, adding however that ELAS manpower falls short of meeting growing needs.
“Because of the particular conditions facing the country over the past six years, the number of potential targets is in the hundreds or even thousands,” he said.
In the same interview, the conservative minister also criticized a judicial decision to release Maziotis and his wife, Panayiota Roupa, both alleged members of Revolutionary Struggle terror group, from jail after spending the maximum 18 months in pretrial detention.
The decision, Dendias said, was a “colossal mistake.”
Authorities have said that the bloodless hit on Dold’s residence bears Maziotis’s hallmarks.
In a separate interview with Kathimerini, the German envoy said the attack was a bid to throw the debt-hit country off track while voicing confidence that the attack would not strain ties between bailed-out Greece and its leading lender.
“Attacks of this kind will not be able to upset Greek-German relations,” said Dold, stressing that it should not affect the nation’s image as a safe destination.
“It seems that some people out there would like to throw the country off track and they deem that the signs of economic recovery do not serve their aim,” he said, adding that Berlin would continue to support Greece’s recovery efforts.