Antiterrorists with black masks, goggles and armoured vests brought Anasthasios Theophilou to the judicial complex in Athens shortly before 12 pm. He had been captured for the murder of a taxi driver during a bank robbery in Paros. They took him to the courtroom under extremely strict security measures around and near the court buildings.
The 29-year old bowed his head when he arrived at the entrance of the building where television cameras and photographers were awaiting him. Unlike other persons detained for involvement in the terrorist group Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, he did not say a word and did not express resentment of the presence of the media. Then, the guards took him into the courtroom, where he stood before the fast-track trial. He was charged of resisting the police during his arrest at the Kerameikos station of the Athens underground.
At the request of defendant Anasthasios Theophilou, the trial was postponed to Wednesday. The reason for his request was that he had no defender. Then, he asked the journalists to put him in touch with lawyer Spyros Fitrakis, who was the defender of another member of the group during its trial.
Immediately after that, the 29-year old was taken to the special investigator who has taken over with the entire investigation of the activities of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei. He also gave the detainee an extension to testify on Wednesday.
Greek police published on Sunday the name and different photographs of Anasthasios Theophilou, who is from Thessaloniki and a former theology student at the local Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The police presented 17 photographs of the bank robbery, which clearly show the face of the masked young man.
Earlier today, he was brought before a prosecutor to explain his participation in the bloody robbery in Paros. According to sources, he did not utter a single word. He had reacted similarly during the interrogatory by members of the anti-terror service.
Authorities were able to capture him after comparing the genetic material found in the hiding place of the group in Agrinio with the items collected from the crime scene in Paros. Officials in the police laboratory tested a cloth and a hat, which they had found at the bank.
"Although he was wearing a mask, sunglasses and a hat, the figure of the robber matched the young man who we had investigated in connection with Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei. We were sure it was him and it has proven so. We took genetic material from him when we found him and compared it with the material found on the hat," said a senior police officer.
Authorities found the hiding place of the group in Agrinio on 5 December 2010 - just a month after four of its members had been arrested for trying to send parcel bombs through couriers. Theophilou’s involvement in the attacks by the group was not proven despite the doubts.
According to the police representative, who gave a press conference for the case a week after the bloody bank robbery in Paros, Anasthasios Theophilou was planning to rob a branch of National Bank of Greece in Lamia. The data presented showed that Anasthasios Theophilou had stayed at a hotel in the Athens district of Monastiraki between 14 and 16 August. He went by train to Lamia on 16 August and returned to Athens on 18 August. During the search, authorities found a video camera installed on the seat of a bicycle. "They thus recorded what happened in the bank and the streets around it." Clothes as well as a sleeping bag were found in Theophilou’s travelling bag labelled "Paros".
Police have launched a major operation in the area of Lamia today in order to find his hiding place in the city or in any of the surrounding villages, where he is supposed to have hid for some days after the robbery in Paros. The detection of calls made by the mobile phone found at the bank revealed its location.
The hiding place was found later in the afternoon, after the property owner had recognized the face of the captured Anasthasios as his tenant. There is yet no information about the findings but police hope to find money from the loot there. The action involved local police officers as well as policemen from Karpenisi and a group of officers of the anti-terror forces.
According to them, "There are few anarchists in Lamia and the surrounding areas - no more than 10 people, but there is no indication that any of them had given refuge to Theophilou after the robbery."
At the same time, the investigation to reveal his accomplices continues. The police are analyzing how the 29-year old had arrived and left the island, his phone calls and other data. Urgent request has been sent to all police stations in the country to compare whether the figures of the robbers in Paros have been captured in videos of other bank robberies.
The police are investigating several persons, for whom there was evidence in the past that they had a supporting role in Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei. Some of them are a young man from the suburb of Holargos, who was arrested in Syntagma Square after shooting a policeman with an arrow and another anarchist, for whom there is evidence for participation in an attack on policemen in the suburb of Pevki.