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Ailing Greek far-left hitman ends hunger strike: lawyer


Jailed Greek far-left hitman Dimitris Koufodinas on Sunday ended a 66-day hunger strike that had sparked protests, his lawyer said, a day after doctors warned he risked “sudden death.”

“We persuaded him to end the strike,” Koufodinas’ lawyer Ioanna Kourtovik told.

In a statement released through Kourtovik, Koufodinas thanked “progressive people” for their support in multiple protests around the country in the past months, often marred by violence.

“What is happening out there is more important than what initiated it,” he said.

Koufodinas, 63, is serving multiple life sentences for 11 murders for the extremist November 17 group, which for 20 years targeted industrialists, policemen, foreign diplomats and soldiers, before being dismantled in 2002.

Considered the outfit’s top assassin, he began a hunger strike in January after being denied transfer to a high-security jail in Athens to be near his family, and his health has been in critical condition for the last two weeks.

On Saturday, doctors treating Koufodinas at a hospital in Lamia, central Greece, said he was in “constant possible risk of sudden death” and had suffered “multiple accumulated disruption” to vital organs.

November 17’s victims included Pavlos Bakoyannis, a lawmaker who was the father of Athens Mayor Costas Bakoyannis and brother-in-law to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Greece’s top administrative court, the Council of State, in April will examine Koufodinas’ request to block his transfer to maximum security Domokos prison in central Greece.

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