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Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Gun used to kill brigadier found
Police seal off Brigadier Saunders' car after the murder
Greek police have found the pistol used to kill British military attaché Stephen Saunders.

The gun, a .45 calibre pistol, was discovered in a police raid of a central Athens hideout.

Brigadier Saunders was gunned down on 8 June 2000 and the radical left group November 17 was believed to be responsible.

Brigadier Stephen Saunders
Brigadier Saunders was shot four times

A police spokesman said ballistics tests showed the gun was used on its own or with another weapon, in killing six people, including Saunders and Greek parliamentarian Pavlos Bakoyiannis.

Police are hunting the brigadier's killers as part of an investigation into the murders by the guerrillas of 23 people since 1975.

His widow spoke earlier this week of her "relief" that Greek police were confident they were closing in on his killers.

Revenge

Heather Saunders told The Guardian newspaper she hoped members of the group would soon know "the terrible pain of loss" she and her family had suffered after the death of her 52-year-old husband.

"It's not blood that I seek in revenge," she said.

"I just want these people deprived of their freedom and taken away from their family and loved ones as I, my two daughters and my mother-in-law were taken away from ours."

Heather Saunders
Mrs Saunders is relieved at police's progress

For decades, the Greek authorities failed to track down even one of the terrorist group, which is named after the date of a bloody 1973 student uprising against the military junta then ruling Greece.

But in the past month, Greece has detained one suspected member of the group and seized weapons believed to belong to them.

Police also said they were seeking a second suspect connected to the group and released pictures of Dimitris Kofintinas, 44, who police allege is "directly related" to a massive arms cache found in an Athens apartment in early July.

"After 27 years of no headway, this sense of progress, of finally cracking this evil group, is wonderful," Saunders told the paper.

"Finding Stephen's murderers will allow me to move on."

See also:

09 Jun 00 | Europe
08 Jun 00 | N Ireland
13 Jun 00 | UK
08 Jun 00 | Europe
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