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Vassilis Paleokostas has delivered the bomb intended for Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis

24 November 2010 / 17:11:16  GRReporter
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According to a senior officer from the Ministry of Citizens Protection "Vassilis Paleokostas has delivered the bomb intended to assassinate the then Prime Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis that exploded in the hands of his aide George Vassilakis." "The case is almost revealed. Fingerprint of the known criminal and jail escaper was found, using special chemical substances, on part of the outer envelope of the package which remained after the powerful explosion. We also have strong evidence and information as to the person who assembled the explosive mechanism and the overall plan of the attack. We are worried that there might be a new attack by the same group."

Today's edition of the Greek newspaper To Vima reads that the source of this information is a senior officer in the ministry who monitors all armed attacks carried out in recent months by the new generation of terrorists in Greece.

The bomb that exploded on June 24 and killed the aide was hidden in a package sent to the political office of the then Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis in the Athens district of Kolonaki. It was forwarded from there to his office in the Ministry for Citizens Protection without any check. The text that was sent to the daily Eleftherotypia 15 days later described the packing and delivery mode. The author signed at the bottom as Thanassis Klaras, which is the real name of Aris Velouhiotis - Chief of the Greek People's Liberation Army (ELAS), which is the armed unit of the National Liberation Front (EAM) at the time of the German occupation of Greece during the World War II. None of the organizations, however, took responsibility for the attack in the text.

Officers say that "we had many verified reports that Vassilis Paleokostas had close relations with 2-3 known anarchists in recent months with whom they carried out common actions. However, we were very surprised when we found his fingerprint on a piece of the package. It is obvious that he took part in the plan of attack and has taken great risk to forward the killing package. He did not want to use gloves so as not to cause doubts in the postal branch probably because the attack happened in the summer. We assume that he touched the package by mistake there." Anyway, Vassilis Paleokostas has never been involved in an attack against human life – a fact the police officers recognized too. They believe, however, that the exploding device has been assembled by an anarchist who has contacts with other suspects for financial support to armed groups, but also with other criminals.

The police found evidence for interaction between anarchists and criminals not for the first time. The first evidence, that Paleokostas and his close ally have contacts with anarchists and former members of the "anti-state struggle" group, appear in 1995-1996. In 2001 anarchists help the criminal Costas Pasaris escape from Korydallos prison and plan with him to attack another prison to ensure the escape of Paleokostas. Police have registered his contacts with anarchists in prison in the period 2001-2006. А complaint is made on August 31, 2007 for theft of two cars from a house in Thesalonika neighbourhood Analipsi. One of the cars was found with Paleokostas a year later and it became clear that the other car was used by the members of Revolutionary Struggle.

In 2008 two anarchists helped Paleokostas in the abduction of the businessman George Milonas in Thessaloniki. Other anarchists visited him in the Korydallos prison. Last year, after his second ostensible escape by helicopter along with Alket Rizai, the police discovered after tracing the phone calls that Paleokostas has arrangements with anarchists to carry weapons on the island of Crete. Only a few months ago in a letter to a central edition he made a charge of attempted murder against police officers who chased him in the area of Alepohori and wrote critical comments against the then Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis.

Vassilis Paleokostas was born in 1966 in the village of Moshato near the town of Trikala. Since the mid 1980s they carried out numerous thefts and robberies along with his brother Nikos. The two brothers kidnapped the businessman Alexandros Haitoglou in 1995. Police caught him but in June 2006 he escaped from prison by helicopter together with Alket Rizai. He was caught again in the summer of 2008 after the abduction of the businessman George Milonas. Vassilis Paleokostas has not yet been captured after his movie-like second helicopter escape from Korydallos in February 2009 again together with the Albanian prisoner.

 

Tags: Vassilis PaleokostasMichalis ChrysochoidisTerrorist attackCrime news
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