Greek gunman surrenders

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A Greek gunman who dubbed himself "the strange one" surrendered to a TV talk show host on Saturday after an all-day odyssey that began with a double killing and ended with the release of 33 Japanese tourists held hostage on a bus.

A Greek gunman who dubbed himself "the strange one" surrendered to a TV talk show host on Saturday after an all-day odyssey that began with a double killing and ended with the release of 33 Japanese tourists held hostage on a bus.

Distraught because he believed his wife was cheating on him, Christos Kendiras, 48, used a shotgun shortly after daybreak to kill his 77-year-old mother-in-law and Stamatis Taktikos, 44, who he suspected of being his wife's lover in the port village of Galata, about 200 kilometres southwest of Athens.

He then drove 35 kilometres northwest to Epidauros, the site of a 4th century B.C. theatre that is one of Greece's prime tourist attractions.

There, the auto bodyshop repairman set fire to his car and used the blazing wreck and gun to pull over the Japanese tour bus as it headed for the ancient site.

Kendiras led the bus on an almost 10-hour trip back and forth along the main highway connecting central and southern Greece before releasing his hostages and surrendering to television talk show host Makis Triantafilopoulos.

His surrender, and subsequent drink with the host, highlighted the enormous influence wielded by Greece's broadcast media and the declining trust in the state.

Police chief Yannis Georgakopoulos said his forces concluded Triantafilopoulos was the best solution for an end to the crisis.

During the hijacking, Kendiras shot at police vehicles five times, slightly injuring one officer on a motorcycle.

Police said he also frequently threatened the passengers - 23 men and 10 women including a Japanese tour guide. They were unharmed and authorities took them to a central Athens hotel, where doctors examined them and police took statements.

Comments