May 22, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Explosive device at the Thessaloniki Court of Appeal, statement from the prosecutor’s office

An explosive device was found in a suspicious envelope sent to the office of the President of the Thessaloniki Court of Appeal. The investigation is being conducted by the Anti-Terrorism Service.

Message ΕΛ.ΑΣ:

“Today at noon, February 12, 2024, a suspicious envelope was found in the Thessaloniki courthouse. They checked it with an X-ray machine and found an explosive substance. The Τ.Ε.Ε.Μ brigade immediately left for the scene. The preliminary investigation is carried out by the Thessaloniki Special Crimes Directorate λονίκης)”.

TO bomb defusing Experienced employees of the explosive ordnance disposal department began. The head of the security service, Giorgos Tsimas, was present at the courthouse.

The envelope was intended for the chairman of the Thessaloniki Court of Appeal, but aroused suspicion: the relevant services were immediately informed, and people from the building were evacuated.

The investigation is being carried out by the anti-terrorism service, the prosecutor’s office said. The explosive device was sent to the forensic laboratory of ΕΛ.ΑΣ. for examination. During the investigation, law enforcement is trying to identify the sender. The counter-terrorism service, which has taken over the investigation, is checking for any similarities in connections and explosives used previously. The Association of Judges and Prosecutors condemned the incident in a statement.

Statement by the Union of Judges and Prosecutors:

“The Union of Judges and Prosecutors condemns the terrorist attack of sending an explosive device to the Thessaloniki Court of Appeal, targeting judges. Committing such criminal acts in an area that is filled with police on a daily basis creates a strong sense of insecurity among all citizens. Every government must take all necessary measures to create a safe environment for the exercise of judicial functions and has a fundamental obligation to create the necessary conditions for the existence of an orderly and effective government machinery. The country’s judicial and prosecutorial officials are not afraid of such actions, and they will continue to perform their duties in accordance with the constitution and laws of the Greek state. We call on the government to take all measures, since this is a matter of democracy, justice must be established in conditions of calm and sobriety, and not in conditions of threats and violence against bailiffs.”

By data CNN Greece, the explosive found in the envelope was jelly-like dynamite* and the quantity could have caused a massive explosion causing loss of life. The message arrived 10 days ago by mail to the third floor of the city court building, where the office of the chairman of the appellate instance is located. The sender is the Union of Judges and Prosecutors.

Explosive Detection

Yesterday, after several days of vacation, the bailiff took possession of the envelope, assuming that it contained union documents. However, the contents aroused her suspicions, and after consulting with a person close to her, which, apparently, turned out to be a salvation, she did not open the case, transferring it for research.

A security guard took the suspicious envelope to an X-ray machine on the first floor of the courthouse, where it was determined there was an explosive inside. At about 14:00, a decision was made to evacuate the building with a parallel cordon of the surrounding area.

A team from the Department of Explosive Ordnance Disposal with a specially trained dog and the director of the Thessaloniki security service arrived at the scene. The explosive device was defused by ΕΛ.ΑΣ pyrotechnicians.

*dynamite is a mixture of nitroglycerin and an absorbent agent such as sawdust, for example.

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