Greek Far-left Militant Prosecuted For 'terrorism'

Greek far-left militant prosecuted for 'terrorism'

ATHENS, Jan 6, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 06th Jan, 2017 ) - Greek authorities have prosecuted the former leader of a far-left group that has claimed a string of attacks with "participating in a terrorist organisation", a source close to the investigation said on Friday.

Paula Roupa, captured on Thursday after more than four years on the run, is also being prosecuted for "aggravated theft with a view to committing terrorist acts", the source added. The 48-year-old is a former member of the now-defunct Revolutionary Struggle, a group that has claimed bomb attacks and assassination attempts against police and politicians.

Roupa and her co-leader and companion Nikos Maziotis were arrested together in 2010. They were conditionally released from detention pending trial in 2011 but subsequently disappeared. The couple have a six-year-old son who was born in an Athens hospital a few months after his parents were imprisoned in 2010.

The boy, who was with his mother when she was arrested on Thursday, has been assigned to a police minors unit under the supervision of a prosecutor. "My child has been locked up. He is a six-year-old prisoner of war," Roupa shouted on Friday as she left the prosecutors' office.

She said she was starting a hunger strike to protest that the boy was not handed over to his grandmother or aunt as she wished. "I am a revolutionary and I do not need to apologise to anyone. The terrorists are the economic elite," said Roupa in a written statement.

In a separate operation on Thursday, police had also detained a 25-year-old woman they said was "aiding" Roupa. This woman, who had admitted to being a Revolutionary Struggle member, has also started a hunger strike.

Revolutionary Struggle, which first emerged in 2003, was once deemed by authorities to be the country's most dangerous far-left organisation. The United States put a bounty on the group after it fired a rocket at the US embassy in Athens in 2007, although injuring no-one.

In 2014, the group also exploded a booby-trapped car outside a Bank of Greece office in central Athens as the country prepared to make a highly symbolic debt sale. Again, no-one was hurt. She has been handed a 50-year prison sentence over the group's activities up to 2010, and an additional 11-year sentence over the Bank of Greece blast.