June 12, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Nobody took the first execution “November 17” seriously: they talked about internal “squabbles” between CIA agents

On December 23, 1975, the festive atmosphere of Athens was rocked by the assassination of CIA chief Richard Wells, which became the first assassination attempt of the November 17 terrorist organization, but no one took it seriously, and the prevailing version was that there was a settling of scores between CIA agents.

Three bullets hit him
Richard Wells and his wife Maria Christiana were guests at a reception with the American ambassador. Shortly before 10 p.m., the Wells left his residence and returned to their home in Psychico. When Wells’ driver stopped the black limousine near the mansion, a car appeared and three masked armed men got out. They quickly escorted Wells’ driver and wife out and shot the 45-year-old CIA chief with three bullets.


When leaving, they left a proclamation in which they stated that the created “Revolutionary Organization of November 17”. Three days later, the same proclamation was sent to three newspapers, but no one took it “November 17” seriously and everyone believed that this was a settling of scores between CIA agents, since it turned out that Wells was not just a diplomat in Greece, but the chief of staff of the CIA. And in January 1975, the Independent American Political Review “Counter Spy” found out that in Lima (Peru) he was the chief of the CIA station.

One year later…

A year later, on December 24, 1976, the French newspaper Liberation published the original text from November 17in which the organization claimed responsibility for the murder of Richard Wells, detailing the surveillance of the subject and the organization of the operation.


Indications against the performer Giotopoulos and their cancellation

When in 2002 “November 17” was liquidated, one of those arrested, Pavlos Serifis, admitted that he was in a group of three people who executed Richard Wells, and that the perpetrator of the murder was Alexandros Giotopoulos. However, during the hearing, he retracted his testimony, saying that it was given as a result of psychological violence. None of the defendants at the November 17 trial were convicted of Wells’ murder.

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