Greek officials agreed late Thursday to grant a third furlough in eight months to a convicted far-left terrorist serving multiple life terms for a string of murders, and who was on a hunger strike pressing for his demand.
The decision followed a series of protests and vandal attacks by anarchist sympathizers of Dimitris Koufodinas, including a peaceful protest on the ancient Acropolis in Athens.
A lawyer representing Koufodinas, a member of the deadly November 17 group, said her client was calling off his 15-day hunger strike. He will get his two-day furlough once he is released from hospital, where he was taken because of his hunger strike.
Ioanna Kourtovik said Koufodinas will have to appear once a day at his local police station during the furlough.
Earlier Thursday, members of the anarchist Rubicon group unfurled a banner in front of the 5th century B.C. Parthenon temple on the Acropolis, accusing the government of trying to “assassinate” Koufodinas. No damages were caused to the historic site, and no arrests were made.
The decision on his third furlough had been delayed for procedural reasons.
The now-disbanded November 17 group’s former main hitman, Koufodinas, 61, has acknowledged his crimes but has never repented.
Koufodinas was convicted in 2003 of belonging to November 17, which assassinated 23 people between 1975 and 2000, including U.S., British and Turkish diplomats and military personnel. He is serving 11 life terms.
Koufodinas has been granted two brief furloughs from prison over the past eight months, prompting criticism from opposition parties, the U.S. State Department and families of the group’s victims.