Greece to offer 4 million euro fugitive reward

AP News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2014 10:36 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities announced rewards totaling 4 million euros ($5.4 million) Wednesday for information leading to the capture of fugitives in four terrorism-related cases, days after an escaped convict posted a video statement on the Internet vowing to resume attacks.

Anti-terrorist police have been conducting a nationwide manhunt since Jan. 7 when Christodoulos Xiros, a 55-year-old serving six life sentences for carrying out killings as part of the November 17 group, vanished while on furlough from prison. In a video uploaded on Monday, Xiros criticized the handling of Greece's financial crisis, threatened politicians and journalists and vowed further attacks.

Professing a mix of Marxism and nationalism, November 17 killed 23 people, including Greek politicians, businessmen and British, American and Turkish diplomats and military officials, from 1975 to 2000.

A one million euro reward was being offered for information leading to Xiros' capture, police said in a statement. The same sum would be paid each the capture of a man and woman who vanished in 2012 following their release from jail after serving the maximum 18 months in pre-trial detention.

Nikos Maziotis and his wife Panagiota Roupa were sentenced in absentia last year to 25 years in prison for participation in Revolutionary Struggle, a group active between 2003 and 2009. The organization claimed responsibility for attacks including bombing the Athens Stock Exchange, planting a massive bomb that failed to explode outside Citibank offices and firing a rocket-propelled grenade into the U.S. Embassy. Nobody was hurt in the latter attack, and the group has not caused any deaths, although it shot and severely wounded a riot policeman in 2009.

The disappearance of Xiros, added to those of Maziotis and Roupa, has been a major embarrassment for Greek authorities.

"The Greek state ... will do whatever it can, whatever it has a constitutional duty to do, in order to protect the country, society and its economic development," Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said in announcing the reward during a speech to police officers.

Another million is being offered for information leading to the identification and arrest of unknown gunmen who shot and killed two members of the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party as they stood outside a neighborhood party office in Athens last November. A third party member was critically wounded.

Footage from a surveillance camera on a nearby building showed two people walking up to the group standing outside the offices, with at least one opening fire on them with a handgun. A previously unknown group calling itself Fighting Popular Revolutionary Forces claimed responsibility for the attack.