Furlough for Greek extremist serving life fuels outrage

ATHENS — A convicted gunman for an extreme left-wing group who once was Greece’s most wanted terrorist was granted a 48-hour furlough from an Athens prison Thursday, fueling a political debate on prison sentencing and law and order.

Dimitris Koufodinas, 59, is serving life for participating in 11 of the 23 assassinations attributed to the now-defunct armed group November 17. His victims included the brother-in-law of the current conservative Greek opposition leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who described the furlough as ‘‘inconceivable.’’

The November 17 or 17N group evaded police for nearly 30 years until one of its members was arrested after a botched bomb attack in 2002. The event triggered numerous arrests and Koufodinas’s conviction the following year for the murders as well as for armed robberies and bomb attacks.


Casually dressed and smiling, Koufodinas walked out of Athens’ high-security Korydallos prison Thursday and was hugged by a small group of friends and supporters.

associated press