|Tuesday, 20 April 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-08-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 OPTIMISM WITHOUT SOLUTION TO ARMS THEFTKos, 6 August 2002 (12:44 UTC+2)
The government is optimistic that the mystery of the Kos arms theft will be solved by the end of the week. Although the investigations were still in the dark last night, the relevant ministers of National Defense and Public Order consider it a question of time until the culprits directly connected to the unit (serving or cooperating with individuals serving there), who come from the arms smuggling sector, are traced.
This appreciation was expressed anew by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou and Minister of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoidis, whose services are participating in the investigations. Both ministers appreciated that the arms theft was not connected to terrorism.
Mr Papantoniou is still in Kos without visiting the 544 battalion, so that he is not considered to be intervening in the work of the judicial and police authorities, and is continuously briefed by Lieutenant General St. Andrianis on the course of the questionings.
According to the "Imerisia" paper, both the Police and the military participating in the investigations have dropped the officer who discovered the arms theft from their list of suspects, although he had made some conflicting statements during his questioning. This was the same person who found the abandoned G3 rifle, which instead of leaving in place so as not to lose the finger prints or turning it in to the Unit's Command, he put in his car.
However the authorities seem to share the military's feelings that the specific Sergeant is "not that bright".
However, late last night, both military and police authorities participating in the investigations questionings, underlined that their work is still in its initial stage.
The fingerprint check is expected to be completed today. As far as the psychological operations on the staff still remaining inside the camp are concerned, their effects begin after the first 72 hours.
The goal of the authorities is to trace the connection between the culprits and the unit's life. At least, if they are not individuals serving or that used to serve in the camp, it is certain that they had information and cooperation from inside the unit.
Meanwhile, Giannos Papantoniou, who has set up an HQ in Kos, stressed that the military leadership should carry out careful checks on the security systems that should be functional in all arms, ammunition and fuel warehouses.
 ''ANNA'' OF THE ANTI-JUNTA STRUGGLEAthens, 6 August 2002 (13:54 UTC+2)
In the summer of 1972, a German team supporting the anti-dictatorship struggle in Greece, came to the country posing as tourists in order to help a young Greek woman, a member of the October 20 organization, fighting against the regime, escape. The young woman who was part of the team was selected due to her likeness to the young anti-regime fighter. She gave her passport to her upon entering the country so the young Greek woman, Anna, could leave, and then would go to the German embassy and claim she had lost her passport, then leaving with the special document issued in such cases.
The Avgi newspaper spoke with the German woman that had taken up this difficult part and had a safe image of what happened. According to the information she gave, this procedure was extremely popular, but the operation was ratted out and the Greek Military Police (ESA) arrested the Germans. After held for more than a month, they were indicted, tried and convicted to a few months in prison. They were released in less than a month after a special amnesty, and were deported. Their imprisonment by the Junta was becoming a serious issue in Germany for the internationally isolated Papadopoulos regime. The German woman recalled that she only saw the woman she was supposed to save once, when the team took a picture with her. The Greek woman was never indicted and her husband was a witness for the prosecution in the German anti-fascist trials. After the junta the young Greek woman had a German bookstore in Athens. Also, conservative German newspapers made mention of international terrorism for the first time. The question is, why would anyone want to connect that movement of solidarity against fascism to terrorism today?
Concerning the attempts to connect terrorists today with fighters in the struggle for liberty against the junta, honorary President of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) Charilaos Florakis stated that it is being done in order to justify terrorism. This way they may latch on to some renegade and then say, here are the terrorists. The way they are going they will end up talking about the KKE
Mr. Florakis estimated that this issue of N17 has been given so much attention in order to draw the attention of the Greek people away from other serious issues, such as unemployment, health, national sovereignty, etc. They did not strike them (November 17). The Americans no longer have a use for them. It is damaging to them. Because terrorism is now exercised directly by the US on a mass scale. Concerning the US, Charilaos Florakis also stated that the US itself has admitted to its terrorist activity. Is it not Bush that said, whoever is not with us is a terrorist?.
 N17 ATTORNEYS WILL NOT REVEAL THEIR PLANSAthens, 6 August 2002 (16:50 UTC+2)
The attorneys of the suspects in the N17 case will not reveal the defense they plan to follow, while they object to the holding conditions of their clients, supporting that the restrictions they have been subjected to have created problems in their attorney-client communication. However, the restrictions against the 14 terrorist suspects have gradually started to be lifted after the decision of Assistant DA Aristidis Fragiadakis, and most of them have now been allowed clocks, books, while access to the press is not out of the question within the next few days. In fact, Mr. Giannis Rachiotis, attorney to suspected leading member of N17, Alexandros Giotopoulos, told the "Kathimerini" newspaper that it is quite possible for card-phones to be made available.
However, the attorneys still have problems with their unhindered cooperation with their clients. Most of them believe that the holding conditions of their clients must be improved and are not ruling out the possibility of a joint protest, although some consider them expected in the framework the strict security measures.
"Personal items were allowed in two days ago. However the conditions are not good enough for us to do our job properly, since we do not know whether our conversations are being monitored. Furthermore, my client has not been given the right to access the brief to his own case, a fact that makes our cooperation problematic", pointed out one of Thomas Serifis' two attorneys, Mr. Giorgos Zoulas. Kostaris and Karatsolis have expressed no complaint through their attorney, Mr. Stamoulis, so far. However, Mr. Stamoulis characterized the conditions as excessive, in statements to "K" newspaper.
Access to case briefs
The attorney of Dionysis Georgiadis, Mr. Alexis Karamanolis, has asked for access to their briefs be granted to their clients, while he believed that sense and responsibility will prevail and that the conditions will improve. "I believe that it makes sense for the penology code to have been bent somewhat in the case of these particular suspects". Concerning the defense of his client, he will stand by his client's refusal that he consciously participated in the organization.
Newspapers have not yet been allowed inside Corydallos penitentiary for the suspects. "As far as the holding area is concerned it is at a very good level, but right now communication with our clients is concerned it is not possible", stated Kostas Telios' attorney, Mr. Nikos Protekdikos.
 POLICE NEAR NEW TERRORIST CACHESAthens, 6 August 2002 (16:25 UTC+2)
The weapons used by ELA and other organizations will soon be found in Attica, according to a publication in today's "Kathimerini" newspaper.
The location of the wooden box containing a grenade, dynamite and detonators on the Adrittos hill, brought the issue of other weapon caches belonging to various organizations that were active at times in Greece, into the foreground. Even in cases where they are considered inactive, as in ELA's case, which has not operated since 1995, their weapons are still an important question.
As terrorism investigations proceed, authorities seem determined, now that a start has been made, to close the chapter of terrorism with the eradication of all terrorist organizations that have appeared in Greece. Thus, as high standing Greek Police officials point out, new weapon caches will soon be found, with significant weapons, which may not have been used in years, but which are still a potential danger, if someone were to decide to use them.
 REENACTMENT OF THE ARMS THEFTKos, 6 August 2002 (16:09 UTC+2)
Reenactments of the arms theft from the Kos military unit are underway by the military authorities, while the crime labs of the Attica General Police Direction have been sent the fingerprints of all 160 members of the military personnel serving at the unit. Those are being compared to the five sets of prints lifted from the crime scene, in order to establish whether they belong to anyone inside the camp.
At the same time, Security Police officers are scanning their computer files in order to ascertain if the prints belong to any convicted felon. However, it is not an easy job due to the excessive amount of fingerprint sets.
The authorities seem to be moving to the conclusion that the culprits took action after gaining information from someone inside the camp. In the meantime, the authorities are optimistic that if the culprits are inside the camp, they will confess very shortly.
The Assistant DA of the Athens military court, who is in charge of the investigations has found conflicting information in the two officers' statements, as well as in that of a reserve General. In fact one of the two officers, seems to be the one that turned in the abandoned G3 rifle.
In the meantime, thorough checks of all vehicles leaving Kos are underway, as are patrols by the Coast Guard, in case information can be found concerning the arms stolen from the island.
 DRUGLORDS PREFER KAKAVIAIoannina, 6 August 2002 (16:08 UTC+2)
Albanian druglords have turned Kakavia into a drug gateway, according to the Greek Radio Service (ERA), as the phenomenon of trafficking has assumed enormous dimensions lately.
Specifically, from the beginning of the year to this day, the Kakavia Border Station authorities have confiscated 5.5 tons of cannabis, 118 kilos of heroin and 2.5 kilos of cocaine, amounts indicating the severity of the problem. Recently, a 20-year-old Albanian tried to smuggle 19.304 kilos of heroin into Greece, using his car.