|Tuesday, 13 April 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-08-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 XEROS POINTS OUT TWO NEW N17 MEMBERSAthens, 12 August 2002 (12:15 UTC+2)
Savvas Xeros pointed out two new «November 17» members with the code names Vaggelis and Kostas. These individuals seemed to have played a peripheral role in the organization according to Xeros' testimony.
Specifically, the 40-year-old icon painter seems to have told the Special Examiner and the DA the following: I know two more people, who probably had a peripheral role in the organization, that is why I only know their first names, since I did not see them often. They were Vaggelis and Kostas, but I do not know anything else about them, he told the Examiner.
Strike planned against Agoudimos
Savvas Xeros also revealed that N17 was planning a strike against Gerasimos Agoudimos. We had decided that after the Piraeus strike, if all went well, to hit ship owner Agoudimos for the Express Samina wreck. It would have been a message about the dreadful state of Greek shipping and the danger passengers are in, said Xeros.
 ASSAULT RIFLE FOUND NEAR PRESIDENT'S HOUSEAthens, 12 August 2002 (11:13 UTC+2)
The ballistic report on the FN assault rifle found outside the house of the President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos, showed the weapon has not been used in criminal or terrorist activity.
The assault rifle, along with a silencer and eight rounds, were wrapped inside a newspaper page within a plastic bag. It was found by a passer by on a motorcycle, who notified the police.
In fact, the General Army Staff announced that that kind of weapon is not used by Greece's Armed Forces.
 INVESTIGATIONS UNDER WAY FOR ARMS THEFTKos, 12 August 2002 (13:56 UTC+2)
Investigations in Kos are under way concerning the solving of the arms theft case from the island's military base. According to press publications, the authorities are searching for a key-individual that will shed light on the case.
The authorities have reports that the specific individual moved at points in time that are considered crucial to the investigation. These moves seem to be connected to a transfer of the stolen weapons in pieces.
Meanwhile, the Police and Coast Guard are searching houses and checking all cars leaving the island.
 N17 HARD DRIVE PUZZLING AUTHORITIESAthens, 12 August 2002 (13:24 UTC+2)
The authorities are searching for a computer hard drive, which may contain important information about November 17's activities, and which disappeared from the Damareos st. hideout on the night the bomb exploded in Savvas Xeros' hands at the Piraeus harbor.
According to journalistic sources, immediately following the explosion at Piraeus, Dimitris Koufontinas went to the Damareos st. hideout and collected some things in his effort to disappear. Koufontinas went to the apartment, placed some weapons in a bathtub full of water in order to distort some of the fingerprints on them, took with him a 45mm handgun, possibly other weapons or grenades, and, before leaving, removed the hard drive from the computer.
At the same time, another computer was found in Alexandros Giotopoulos' house in Vyronas, the hard drive of which is completely empty, and which seems to be puzzling the authorities.
 CHARGES INCREASED AGAINST N17 SUSPECTSAthens, 12 August 2002 (11:17 UTC+2)
The charges against the suspected members of November 17 awaiting trial in the Corydallos penitentiary were increased, after Savvas' Xeros preliminary testimony and evidence were carefully studied by the counter terrorism service. According to Ta Nea newspaper, while compiling the charges against Savvas Xeros, the special examiners fill in the blanks concerning individual terrorist actions, as far as each suspected member's role in it is concerned, since none of the suspects pointed out their exact participation in the terrorist attacks.
Specifically, concerning the only two suspects who have not confessed to participating in the organization, Alexandros Giotopoulos and Nikos Papanastasiou, it is certain that the charges against them will increase, based on the evidence in the possession of the counter terrorism suspects, while it is estimated that the indictments may not be completed, even after the order is given, since evidence is still being collected and analyzed. However it is characteristic that no part of Savvas Xeros' testimony answers any questions concerning the implication of women in N17.
Electronic hunt for N17
The authorities have also placed their hopes of capturing November 17 in technology, as the hunt for the organization is passing through the official websites of the Ministry of Public Order and the Greek Police.
The official website of the Ministry of Public Order and the police (www.ytd.gr) presents all developments in the case of revealing and eradicating the terrorist organization. The site, which has already received 860 hits, shows the visitor pictures of Alexandros Giotopoulos, Savvas Xeros and, Greece's most wanted, Dimitris Koufontinas. Above the pictures it reads Have you seen this man? Underneath are the contact numbers of the counter terrorism service, through which civilians may report any information they have that might assist in the N17 investigations. Clicking on the pictures, visitors are taken to a short profile on each of the suspects and other pictures, as well as what terrorist actions they are accused of participating in.
The site also includes speeches by Minister of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoidis and of the Head of Greek Police, Fotis Nasiakos, as well as all announcements made to this day concerning the terrorism investigation by Greek Police spokesperson Lefteris Economou.
 SAVVAS XEROS ADMITTED 17N MURDERSAthens, 12 August 2002 (11:16 UTC+2)
Information on the leading role of Alexandros Giotopoulos in November 17 was given by Savvas Xeros during his testimony to Special Examiner Leonidas Zervobeakos.
The 40-year-old icon painter stated that he had the first place in the organization, planned the strikes, was present during killings and wrote proclamations.
In fact, Xeros seems to have revealed that the rocket in the attack against Ioannis Paleokrassas, which resulted in the death of Thanos Axarlian, was fired by Dimitris Koufontinas.
Savvas Xeros seems to have confessed killing Brigadier Steven Saunders and ship owner Kostis Perratikos. He also seems to have admitted participating in the killings of US official William Nordeen, Pavlos Bakoyannis, US Army Sergeant Ronald Stewart, Michalis Vranopoulos, in the attack against Ioannis Paleokrassas and the strike against Turkish diplomat Omer Sipachioglou.
In fact, Savvas Xeros seems to have confessed that he was present during the attempted murder of George Karos, the attack on DA Panagiotis Tarasouleas, the attempted murder of Vardis Vardinogiannins, as well as the strike on ND MP Lefteris Papadimitriou.
Furthermore, according to information, he admitted participating in a large number of robberies and bombings, as well as the arms theft from the Sykourio military camp. In fact, his first bombing was that of the bus transferring US troops on Kifisias Avenue.
After the completion of his testimony and its comparison with his preliminary testimony, further charges are expected to be brought against Alexandros Giotopoulos
Xeros characterized the bomb explosion at Piraeus as his own fault and does not consider sabotage a possibility. He also repeated that Koufontinas was with him during the bombing and that after the explosion he shouted, Lucas, run!
Xeros' testimony began at 10am and was interrupted at 2pm in order for him to rest and receive his lunch and medication, continued at 5pm and was completed late at night.
Miller: We would sleep better with Koufontinas in custody
We would all sleep better if Koufontinas was in the hands of the authorities, stated US Ambassador to Athens, Thomas Miller, in an interview to the Sunday Ethnos newspaper.
The US Ambassador did not rule out the existence of more terrorism pockets that have not been found by the authorities, and pointed out: I do not rule out any possibilities. We have a proclamation, which the police do not consider genuine. It was obviously not written by the same individual who wrote the previous ones We have the Kos arms theft. Regardless of who the culprits are, the problem remains and the essence is different.
It is publicly acknowledged that some parties, quite possibly armed and definitely dangerous, are walking around free and are capable of harming people. It does not matter if they wrote the proclamation or stole the weapons. What is important is that a lot of work is still needed, as well as arrests
Mr. Miller characterized the case of Savvas Xeros and his family as a surprise, and noted: When the bomb exploded in his hands, nobody believed that the authorities had captured a member of N17. In fact, he was not on the usual suspects list.
At the same time, he stressed that the authorities would have made arrests, even without the Savvas Xeros incident in Piraeus, while he considered the reopening of the Lesperoglou case a positive event.