Letter bomb sent to Noor 1 trial judge
Bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion of a parcel bomb delivered yesterday to the home in Ymittos, in eastern Athens, of a judge involved in the Noor 1 drug smuggling trial.
According to reports, the explosive device was in an empty book, packed with razors and screws so that, experts say, it would ensure maximum damage.
The attack came just a day after a Piraeus prosecutor recommended life sentences for five suspects implicated in the Noor 1 heroin smuggling case.
Judge Panayiotis Houzouris reportedly notified police after failing to recognize the name of the sender on the parcel, which he considered suspicious as a wire projected from its side.
Police said the parcel bomb was similar to one posted in early June to judge Isidora Ponga, who presided over the court council that rejected the release request lodged by Evi Statiri – the partner of a man charged with being a member of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire urban guerrilla group. Nobody had claimed responsibility for the parcel.
However, Christos Tsakalos, a convicted member of the group, recently put out a statement in which he referred to the Noor 1 trial, saying that court decisions were being dictated by big business interests.
The Noor 1 cargo ship was seized in 2014 for smuggling 2 tons of heroin into the country.
Last week, the court rejected appeals by lawyers representing the defendants for leniency on account of their previous clean records.
On Wednesday, the Piraeus prosecutor sought a life sentence plus an additional 10 years and a 1-million-euro fine for Makis Yiannousakis, the former owner of the Noor 1 cargo ship, and Giorgos Bourdouvalis, the agent.
The prosecutor also recommended that three Turkish defendants be handed life sentences plus 10 years and a 500,000euro fine. He also called for 12-year sentences for another three defendants.
The trial was dogged by repeated delays due to a five-month lawyer strike which ended last May.
The sentences are scheduled to be announced on Tuesday, August 2.