Probe into New Year’s prison ‘party’

As search con­tin­ues for miss­ing N17 con­vict, row breaks out be­tween ND and SYRIZA

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As po­lice con­tin­ued a search yes­ter­day for Christodou­los Xeros, a con­victed mem­ber of the dis­banded Novem­ber 17 guer­rilla or­ga­ni­za­tion who failed to re­port to po­lice dur­ing a fur­lough, a row broke out be­tween rul­ing con­ser­va­tive New Democ­racy and main left­ist op­po­si­tion SYRIZA, with the for­mer ac­cus­ing the lat­ter of hav­ing “well-known links to ter­ror­ism.”

Mean­while, Jus­tice Min­is­ter Har­alam­bos Athana­siou called for the tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion of 10 Ko­ry­dal­los Prison em­ploy­ees who had been on duty on De­cem­ber 31 fol­low­ing re­ports that Xeros held a New Year’s Eve party in the high-se­cu­rity jail with con­victed mem­bers of another guer­rilla group, Con­spir­acy of the Cells of Fire. The staff are to re­main sus­pended un­til a prose­cu­tor probes the claims. Video footage from the prison on the night in ques­tion is to be scru­ti­nized.

The dis­ap­pear­ance of Xeros – and of con­victed Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle leader Nikos Mazi­o­tis in 2012 – prompted Pub­lic Or­der Min­is­ter Nikos Den­dias to in­di­rectly crit­i­cize the ju­di­ciary on Tues­day. Yes­ter­day the union of pros­e­cu­tors hit back, not­ing that “if the leg­is­la­tor deems the in­sti­tu­tion is in need of re­vi­sion, the Con­sti­tu­tion al­lows him to re­vise it.”

The Xeros af­fair trig­gered another tense ex­change be­tween New Democ­racy and SYRIZA af­ter ND said in a state­ment that “SYRIZA’s re­la­tions to ter­ror­ism are well known” and noted the party “did not ut­ter a word about the es­cape of the mur­derer Christodou­los Xeros.” SYRIZA re­torted that “the ridicu­lous­ness of the gov­ern­ment has no bounds.”

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice sta­tis­tics, a to­tal of 1,889 fur­loughs were ap­proved for in­mates in the first half of 2013 and 28 con­victs vi­o­lated the terms of their leave.

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