Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis unleashed a fresh attack on main opposition New Democracy over its reaction to the prison transfers of N17 terrorists Christodoulos Xiros and Dimitris Koufodinas from Korydallos Prison to prisons in Halkida and Volos, respectively.

Kontonis reiterated that the transfer to provincial prisons is part of the government’s plan to turn Korydallos into a facility for prisoners standing trial, which began to be implemented in May.

Kontonis said that the stance of the US, which fervently opposes the move, is based on selective information.

Kontonis said that it is unacceptable to link the prison transfers to a reduction of the prison term of the convicts. “Greece is a country that operates with the rule of law, and the law applies to everyone, without exceptions and distinctions,” he said.

Kontonis replied to the criticism of New Democracy.

“We announced a plan that Korydallos Prison will become a prison for individuals standing trial, so that convicts will not come into contact with those on trial, and so as not to constantly transfer prisoners standing trial from provincial prisons to the holding centre for those standing trial in Athens. Since May, convicts have been transferred to provincial prisons, so that those standing trial and incarcerated in Korydallos can have decent living conditions,” he said.

Barbs against the US

Kontonis dropped barbs against the US, and possibly Turkey, over their intense reaction to the transfer of Dimitris Koufodinas, who was 17N’s top gun.

“Suddenly, we are receiving attacks domestically, and unfortunately from abroad, that do not take into account the announcements of the ministry, but rather the information that they are offered from certain centres domestically [in Greece].  I want to once again stress in every direction that Greece operates under the rule of law, and that laws apply to everyone, without distinction,” he said.