Terror suspect confesses to murder of British official

A man held for questioning about terrorist attacks in Greece has reportedly confessed to killing British military attache Stephen Saunders.

A man held for questioning about terrorist attacks in Greece has reportedly confessed to killing British military attache Stephen Saunders.

The 40-year-old - a suspected member of Greece’s deadly November 17 terrorist group who was arrested during a failed bomb attack in June - is said to have admitted he had killed the British military attache.

"I shot Saunders ... I fired four times," state-run NET television quoted the man as saying yesterday during 10 hours of testimony given from his hospital bed.

The man fired the shots after his accomplice's weapon jammed, NET quoted him as saying.

A religious icon painter whose two brothers are also terrorist suspects, the suspect gave testimony after he was already charged with Saunders’ murder and eight other killings.

Under a crime-fighting law passed last year, convicted terrorists can receive lighter sentences if they cooperate with police and judicial authorities.

Meanwhile an assault rifle and bullets were found abandoned near the home of Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos.

The assault rifle was found together with 28 bullets and a flash suppressor, wrapped in a plastic bag, police said.

It was discovered on Saturday in Athens’ northern Psychiko area, a block away from the home of President Stephanopoulos who is currently on holiday.

Police did not give details of the rifle type but said it did not match other weapons used in the past by Greek terrorists.

Authorities are also investigating two other recent incidents involving arms - the theft of handguns and rifles from an army facility and the discovered of explosives buried near a sports stadium in central Athens.

Police have launched a crackdown against the terror group and arrested 15 suspected members.

November 17 has killed 23 people, including four US military and intelligence officials, since 1975.

Its members had evaded capture until a failed bomb attack on June 29 triggered a series of arrests.

NET said the man in custody confessed to being involved in nine killings and dozens of bomb and rocket attacks.

He apologised to the families of his victims - including Saunders, a Turkish diplomat, and Captain William Nordeen, a US military attache killed in a 1988 car-bomb attack.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox