Accessibility links

Breaking News

Convicted Greek Terrorist Gets Prison Furlough; Victims Angry

Dimitris Koufodinas, 59, smiles as he leaves Korydallos prison in western Athens, Nov. 9, 2017.
Dimitris Koufodinas, 59, smiles as he leaves Korydallos prison in western Athens, Nov. 9, 2017.

A convicted Greek anarchist serving life in prison for 11 terrorist assassinations began a two-day furlough Thursday, infuriating the families of his victims.

Friends and supporters hugged Dimitris Koufodinas as he walked out of an Athens prison Thursday for a leave granted under prison rules.

Koufodinas is required to check in with the police station twice a day before he returns to his cell.

Koufodinas was a member of the disbanded November 17 anarchist group, which was responsible for 23 political assassinations over 30 years.

Koufodinas was involved in 11 of those murders.

November 17's victims included a CIA station chief in Athens and a British defense official.

U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said granting leave to a convicted terrorist dishonors the memories of his victims.

British ambassador Kate Smith said she is "deeply disappointed."

Greek Conservative lawmaker Dora Bakoyannis, whose politician husband was killed by November 17, told Greece's Skai television that Koufodinas "isn't just any terrorist. He was a leader, the ideological guide, the guy who … said after the murder he went to a tavern and celebrated, while my children were crying."

Koufodinas used his interest in beekeeping and his career as a teacher to hide his membership with November 17.

The group took its name from the date of a 1973 student uprising against the former Greek military dictatorship.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.