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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-09-05

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOUFODINAS HAS SURRENDERED TO POLICE
  • [02] DETAILS OF KOUFODINAS' SURRENDER
  • [03] PROTOPAPAS ON THE MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN THE 17N CASE
  • [04] THE GREEK FARMERS CONTINUE THEIR PROTESTS
  • [05] THE GREEK PROGRAM FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE BALKANS
  • [06] THE TWO GREEK NATIONAL NEWS AGENCIES IN THESSALONIKI'S 67TH ITF
  • [07] SAE PRESIDING BOARD MEETING
  • [08] LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [09] MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE 17N CASE WITH THE SURRENDER OF KOUFODINAS
  • [10] HOW GIOTOPOULOS WAS ARRESTED

  • [01] KOUFODINAS HAS SURRENDERED TO POLICE

    Athens, 5 September 2002 (15:57 UTC+2)

    According to information Dimitris Koufodinas, the most wanted person by the Greek Police in relation to the terrorist group 17 November, has surrendered.

    Based on the available information, Koufodinas gave himself up and is already at the Counter-terrorist Agency where he is being questioned. Earlier, his lawyer had contacted the Counter-terrorist Agency to agree on the details of his surrender.

    Dimitris Koufodinas is regarded as a basic member of 17 November and he is accused of participation in 20 assassinations committed by the terrorist group.

    [02] DETAILS OF KOUFODINAS' SURRENDER

    Athens, 5 September 2002 (16:43 UTC+2)

    Dimitris Koufodinas arrived at the Police Headquarters in Athens with a taxi. He surrendered and was led to the 12th floor where he is being questioned. His lawyer, Yianna Kurtovik, who is also the lawyer of his companion Angeliki Sotiropoulou, arrived at the Police Headquarters shortly afterwards.

    Earlier, Koufodinas had called Ms. Kurtovik from Piraeus, told her that he wants to surrender and asked her to be his lawyer.

    Angeliki Sotiropoulou and Alicia Cortez, the companion of Savvas Xiros, another 17N member who is in the hands of the police, are expected to be called by the police to be questioned again.

    [03] PROTOPAPAS ON THE MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN THE 17N CASE

    Athens, 5 September 2002 (18:18 UTC+2)

    Government spokesman Christos Protopapas characterized Dimitris Koufodinas' surrender and arrest as a major development in the efforts against terrorism.

    He stated that Koufodinas was a tough 17 November executioner and stressed that today's development was the result of police work, as Koufodinas was left with no other choice than to give himself up.

    Referring to the rumors on Dimitris Koufodinas, Mr. Protopapas stated that today's development proved that there was no invisible hand that blocked his arrest.

    He stressed that the terrorist group 17 November has been broken up. However, he underlined that the case of terrorism in Greece is still open and predicted that there will be more developments.

    [04] THE GREEK FARMERS CONTINUE THEIR PROTESTS

    Volos, 5 September 2002 (17:45 UTC+2)

    About 100 tractors of farmers from Velestino, central Greece, will remain lined up along the Volos-Larisa motorway without blocking the traffic.

    Tomorrow at noon, hundreds of farmers will arrive in Thessaloniki by bus to take part in the protest rally on Saturday, when Thessaloniki's 67th International Trade Fair will be formally opened.

    Meanwhile, the farmers from the province of Tirnavos remain at the new Larisa-Tirnavos-Elassona bridge demanding compensation for the damages suffered by their crops last winter.

    [05] THE GREEK PROGRAM FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE BALKANS

    Thessaloniki, 5 September 2002 (17:30 UTC+2)

    Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos is optimistic regarding the materialization course of the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans and expressed the belief that the first project namely, the reconstruction of the bombarded parliament building in Sarajevo, can be underway in 2002.

    Mr. Loverdos underlined that the process for the signing of bilateral agreements with the 6 countries included in the 5-year 550 million Euro reconstruction program has been completed. He added that the goal is to create a Balkan market of 65 million people.

    Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis stated, before the meeting of the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans monitoring committee, that Thessaloniki has become the seat of Balkan institutions. He said characteristically that 75% of the 3.000 Greek companies that are active in the Balkans are based in Thessaloniki and northern Greece.

    [06] THE TWO GREEK NATIONAL NEWS AGENCIES IN THESSALONIKI'S 67TH ITF

    Thessaloniki, 5 September 2002 (17:16 UTC+2)

    The two cooperating Greek national news agencies the Athens News Agency, ANA, and the Macedonian Press Agency, MPA, will participate in Thessaloniki's 67th International Trade Fair with their own stand at pavilion 16. They will present their joint activities among them, the site www.elections2002 they have created on the occasion of the October 13 municipal elections, and the Greece-EU special bulletin in view of the Greek EU Presidency.

    The major events within the framework of the 67th ITF will be broadcast on the Internet (www.ana.gr and www.mpa.gr).

    [07] SAE PRESIDING BOARD MEETING

    Thessaloniki, 5 September 2002 (17:08 UTC+2)

    The 3rd annual meeting of the World Council for the Greeks Abroad, SAE, Presiding Board headed by its President Andrew Athens, will take place in Thessaloniki on September 14-17.

    In the meeting an assessment will be made of the activities undertaken by SAE in the past year and its future actions with an emphasis to SAE's regional conferences that will be held by late November, the Helleniad, and the 2004 Olympic Games.

    SAE's Presiding Board will hold meetings with Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis and General Secretary Dimitris Dollis, responsible for issues concerning the Greeks abroad, as well as parliamentary committee on the Greeks living abroad president Grigoris Niotis.

    A press conference will be given at SAE's offices on September 16.

    [08] LOSSES IN THE ASE

    Athens, 5 September 2002 (16:50 UTC+2)

    Significant losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.10% at 2.063,88 points, while the volume of transactions was at 83.3 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, only 51 recorded gains and the overwhelming majority of 260 had losses, while the value of 64 stocks remained unchanged.

    [09] MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE 17N CASE WITH THE SURRENDER OF KOUFODINAS

    Athens, 5 September 2002 (16:29 UTC+2)

    A major development took place within the framework of the 17 November terrorist group case with the surrender of Dimitris Koufodinas to police at 14:35pm today.

    According to press information, the surrender of Dimitris Koufodinas, age 44, was agreed after long negotiations between the lawyer of Angeliki Sotiropoulou, who was Koufodinas' companion, and the Counter-terrorist Agency. According to information, he negotiated the conditions of his surrender demanding the favorable treatment of Angeliki Sotiropoulou.

    Press reports had mentioned in the past few days that Sotiropoulou was associated with 17 November and that her fingerprints were found in the 17N hideout at Damareos Street in Athens. At the same time, there was information that her arrest is imminent.

    Police sources point out that Angeliki Sotiropoulou was not arrested and remained at large in order to come into contact with Dimitris Koufodinas which indeed happened after the recent press information.

    The available information mentions that the house where Koufodinas was hiding in Piraeus had been located by the police in the past few days.

    [10] HOW GIOTOPOULOS WAS ARRESTED

    Athens, 5 September 2002 (15:04 UTC+2)

    A mobile telephone number and a series of coincidences led the authorities to Alexandros Giotopoulos, only a few days before the discovery of the Damareos st. November 17 hideout.

    According to today's publication of Macedonia newspaper, the number belongs to the Piraeus bomber, Savvas Xeros, who, two years after the murder of Brigaider Steven Saunders, was the cause for the police of the counter terrorism service to trace N17's Lambros.

    Authorities' investigations revealed that on the morning Saunders was killed, on June 8, 2000, a suspicious call had been made to a mobile telephone: an unknown party called 0973686013 from a mobile telephone a few minutes before the attack. It was discovered that the call was made from a short distance from the house of the British Brigadier, at the time N17's vicitm was leaving his house.

    A few hours after the attack, the police contacted all three mobile telephony companies concerning the calls made two hours prior to and two hours after the attack: There goal was, if possible, to trace possible communication between the terrorists. The investigations that followed were concentrated on a few hundred calls, through which however, they could not trace the owners of the telephones, since they used mobile card phones. Among those calls was that of Savvas Xeros and the until then unknown party.

    It should be noted that a few weeks prior to the attack on Saunders, there was a press publication, based on which the authorities were going to carry out an investigation on telephones, in case the organization resurfaced, thus revealing the information to the terrorists. But, as it seems, they did not pay it the attention it deserved.

    On July 11, 2002, the police took the statement of Giannis Myssirlis, owner of two stores on Damareos st. 73 (five days earlier, the related hideout had been found). Mr. Myssirlis mentioned that one of his storerooms was directly below the organization's hideout. In fact, he stated that he had come into contact with its tenant (whom he recognized as Savvas Xeros from a photograph), because the waterpipes had burst, and water was dripping on to his merchandise. As he explained, Xeros had given him a mobile telephone number (0973686013), to contact him in case of an emergency. Investigating the number, the police discovered that it was one of the numbers they had traced on the morning Saunders was killed.

    On the same day, the counter terrorism service came into contact with the telephony company to which Xeros' number belonged, and managed to find the signal transmission of Alexandros Giotopoulos' telephone: The signal came from Lipsi. After a two day investigation they discovered that the telephone belonged to Michalis Economou. Through that name they reached his house in Vyronas, which was put under surveillance. Four days later (July 17) the police arrested Alexandros Giotopoulos, in simultaneous raids of both houses. Of course, before arresting him, therewas confirmation that Giotopoulos was a member of the organization and essentially the leader of November 17.


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