Convicted Greek militant on loose after breaking parole

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 07, 2014 4:22 AM

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police are searching for a convicted member of dismantled extremist group November 17 who failed to report to the authorities during prison leave over New Year, police officials said on Tuesday.

Christodoulos Xiros, 56, was serving multiple life terms in Athens for participating in a series of deadly attacks carried out by his Marxist group against Greek, U.S. and British businessmen and diplomats.

His lawyer Frangiskos Ragousis said he believed his client has escaped. "It is a political decision in line with his revolutionary activity," Ragousis told television station Skai.

Xiros was on eight days of leave in northern Greece when he failed to report to the police station, as he was meant to do daily, on Monday, prompting a police search.

November 17, Greece's most lethal extremist group, was dismantled in 2002 after a bomb exploded in the hands of Xiros's brother Savas.

All three Xiros brothers, sons of an Orthodox priest, were November 17 members. Christodoulos appeared playing bouzouki in a Greek music video clip in the 1980s and Savas was a painter of religious icons.

More than 10 members of the group were convicted for 23 killings and dozens of bomb attacks spanning three decades.

(Reporting by Harry Papachristou, editing by Elizabeth Piper)