Imam freed as probe begins into mosque weapons
A 47-year-old imam in charge of running a mosque in the village of Iliopetra in Xanthi, northeastern Greece, was released without charge yesterday after being questioned by police in connection with the discovery of guns and ammunition at the prayer site.
Authorities were examining two pistols, one with a silencer, and bullets that were discovered inside the mosque on Tuesday. They have also launched an investigation whose outcome will determine whether the imam faces charges.
The 47-year-old said the guns were not his and that the site is easily accessible to all. As for the shotgun found in his home, he claimed to have acquired it years ago when a license was not required. His lawyer claimed the guns had been planted in the mosque in an attempt to “set up” his client.
Defense Minister Panos Kammenos (left) confers with the commander of the Hellenic Armed Forces, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis (right), and the head of the Hellenic Air Force, Lieutenant General Christos Christodoulou (center), yesterday at the Andravida Air Base in the Peloponnese as Greek aircraft take part in a military exercise. US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt attended the exercise.