Ailing Greek Far-Left Hitman Ends Hunger Strike: Lawyer

Athens, March 14 (AFP/APP): Jailed Greek far-left hitman Dimitris Koufodinas on Sunday ended a 66-day hunger strike, his lawyer said, a day after doctors warned he risked “sudden death” from disruption to multiple vital organs.

“We persuaded him to end the strike,” Koufodinas’ lawyer Ioanna Kourtovik told AFP. In a statement released through Kourtovik, Koufodinas thanked “progressive people” for having shown their support in multiple protests around the country in the past months. The demonstrations were often marred by violence. “What is happening out there is more important than what initiated it,” he said.

Koufodinas, who turns 63 next week, is serving multiple life sentences for 11 murders he carried out for the extremist group November 17. For 20 years, the group targeted industrialists, policemen, foreign diplomats and soldiers, before being dismantled in 2002. Considered the outfit’s top assassin and dubbed ‘Poison Hand’ by Greek media, Koufodinas began a hunger strike in January after being denied transfer to a high-security jail in Athens to be near his family. 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. On Sunday, the hospital said it had “gradually” begun providing Koufodinas with food and nutrients, but that his condition remained serious.

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