Greek terror group member transferred to open prison

By Mehmet Hatipoglu

KOMOTINI, Greece (AA) – One of the gunmen of the November 17 terror group in Greece was transferred from a high security to an open prison on Monday, Greek media said.

Hristodulos Ksiros, who was condemned to life imprisonment on six counts murder, was sent from Korydallos to Halkida Prison near Athens.

Greek Justice Ministry sources said Ksiros was transferred because of renovations in Korydallos Prison.

In 2014, Ksiros was granted a prison furlough for Christmas but he did not return. In 2015, he was arrested near Athens and taken back to prison.

The other senior member of the terror group, Dimitris Koufodinas, was recently transferred to an open prison near the Greek city of Volos from Korydallos Prison.

The transfer of Koufodinas was slammed by Turkey and the U.S. since he was involved in the murder of Turkish and American diplomats.

On Aug. 3, the Turkish Foreign Ministry called Koufodinas's transfer to an open prison unacceptable.

"We understand convicted Greek terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas was moved to a farm prison with lighter restrictions. He murdered 11 including U.S. personnel and is inspiring the next generation of terrorists. We condemn in the strongest terms furloughs or any easing of his prison stay," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Twitter on Aug. 3.

The November 17 terror group was active in Greece between 1975 and 2002. It is considered responsible for the assassination of 23 people in a total of 103 attacks, which particularly targeted U.S., British, Turkish, and Greek nationals.

Turkish press attaché Cetin Gorgu was killed in 1991 while Omer Haluk Sipahioglu, a counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in Athens, was gunned down in front of his home in 1994.

Former Ambassador Deniz Bolukbasi — who died early Wednesday — Nilgun Kececi, the wife of a Turkish vice-consul, and driver Adil Yildirim were also wounded in separate attacks reportedly carried out by the same group.