Jail transfer denied to Greek gunman on hunger strike

Greece’s government says it will not intervene to grant a prison-transfer demand by a convicted militant group gunman who has been on hunger strike for more than seven weeks, triggering public protests as well as arson attacks

Greece’s government Monday said it will not intervene to grant a prison-transfer demand by a convicted militant group gunman who has been on hunger strike for more than seven weeks, triggering public protests as well as arson attacks.

Koufodinas was a leading member of the armed extreme-left group November 17 and is serving 11 life sentences for the murders of prominent Greek businessmen, diplomats and military officials from the embassies of Turkey, Britain, and the United States, and others.

His victims include conservative lawmaker Pavlos Bakoyannis, brother-in-law of the current Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The center-right government denies it violated transfer regulations.

“Mr. Koufodinas is demanding privileged treatment outside legal norms,” government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni told reporters in an online briefing. “The state does not negotiate with convicts and will not relinquish its sovereign right to how to detain them. (He) has the ability to end the hunger strike and exercise the legal options at his disposal.”

Protests in support of Koufodinas’ demands are planned in Athens and other Greek cities later Monday.