Stylianos Pattakos, Greek military coup figure, dies at 103

AP News
Posted: Oct 09, 2016 5:42 AM
Stylianos Pattakos, Greek military coup figure, dies at 103

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Stylianos Pattakos, the last survivor among the leaders of a 1967 coup that ruled Greece for seven years, has died at 103.

The state-run Athens News Agency reported that he died following a stroke Saturday.

Pattakos, born on the island of Crete on Nov. 8, 1912, was a brigadier general and commander of the armored forces stationed in Athens when he took a decisive part in the April 21, 1967, coup led by Col. George Papadopoulos.

He served as interior minister and, from 1971, as first deputy prime minister. He was shunted aside in October 1973 by Papadopoulos, who was trying to liberalize the regime, only to be overthrown a month later by military hardliners.

After democracy was restored in 1974, Pattakos was arrested and, alongside Papadopoulos and Col. Nikolaos Makarezos, was sentenced to death in 1975 for his role in the coup. All three had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

Pattakos and Makarezos were discharged in 1990 for health reasons. Makarezos died in 2009. Papadopoulos, who refused to ask for a discharge, died in prison in 1999.

In his later years, Pattakos enjoyed a certain fame as an occasional guest on TV shows hosted by admirers and a publisher of several volumes. He remained unrepentant about his actions, insisting the coup saved Greece from the threat of a communist dictatorship.

The extreme right-wing party Golden Dawn announced his death on their website saying "the hero Stylianos Pattakos is gone ..." He was not a party member.