U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert issued a statement saying that what happened in Greece generated concern to American authorities. The statement speaks of the multiple murders commited by the Greek terrorist, highlighting the killings of U.S. Military attache in Greece William Nordeen and U.S. Air Force Sergeant Ronald Stewart, two of the five U.S. nationals November 17 had assassinanted.
Nauert referred to the case of another member of the November 17 terrorist organization, Christdoulos Xeros, who in 2014 had been granted a prison leave and escaped, to be arrested again in 2015 after he had participated in terrorist acts.
The State Department spokesperson said that there is concern that Koufodinas will escape as Xeros did. “Obviously we are worried that he will not return,” Nauert said.
“US condemns release of convicted terrorist Dimitris Koufodinas who was set loose on a 2-day furlough in #Greece”, says the U.S. State Department tweet.
British Ambassador to Greece also condemns Koufodinas’ prison leave
British Ambassador to Greece Kate Smith, stated she respects the Greek justice system decision, but was “deeply disappointed” by it.
“We respect the independence of Greek Justice, but we are deeply disappointed by the decision to grant a furlough from prison to a terrorist murderer, and we share the pain caused by this decision to the families of the victims,” Smith said in a tweet.
November 17 killed the UK embassy’s military attache, Brigadier Stephen Saunders, on June 15, 2000. He was the group’s last victim.
Turkey also reacts to Koufodinas’ furlough
“We were informed with great disappointment that Dimitris Koufodinas, the deputy head of the November 17 terrorist organization, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of a diplomatic officer of the Turkish embassy in Athens in 1991, for the attempted assassination of an adviser to the Turkish embassy in 1991, and for involvement in the murder of a consultant of the Turkish embassy in Athens in 1994, was released for two days,” a Turkish foreign ministry statement said.
“It is incomprehensible that a terrorist who has repeatedly taken the lives of our diplomats has been given the possibility of such an agreement. Showing tolerance to a bloodthirsty terrorist in this way is a sign of not respecting the memory of our diplomat martyrs,” the Turkish foreign ministry statement concludes.