A Piraeus court on Monday refused to allow the temporary release of convicted 'November 17' terrorist Savvas Xiros from prison so that he might be admitted to hospital and receive treatment for a series of health problems during a 2002 bomb blast that led to his arrest.
Xiros was seeking a five-month release from prison so that his various health issues might be addressed together at AHEPA hospital in Thessaloniki, claiming that the prison system hampered his access to treatment.
In addition to problems with his eyes and ears, Xiros claimed to suffer from swelling in his lower limbs that has so far defied diagnosis to find the cause.
The prosecutor on the bench argued against his release, noting that the hospital had not yet made it clear when the surgery would take place and how long his treatment or recovery would last.
An ear, nose and throat doctor confirmed that Xiros needs treatment in a hospital with specialised facilities since he is at risk of going completely deaf at any time. An eye specialist also confirmed that he needs an immediate eye transplant and the removal of silicone from the other eye or his condition will deteriorate further, adding that Xiros was currently unable to care for himself in prison and required the assistance of his brother who shared the same cell.
Xiros was caught in 2002 when a bomb that he intended to plant in Piraeus port exploded prematurely, causing him serious injury. His arrest helped police track down the until-then elusive November 17 terror group, which had operated unchecked for decades, giving Greek police one of their first major breakthroughs against domestic terrorism.